Frost damage and pseudomonas

Discussion in 'Maples' started by maplesandpaws, May 16, 2013.

  1. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    Can cold snaps, particularly strong north winds, in late spring during budding/leaf out cause a tree to develop pseudomonas? Or was the infection already there, the cold weather aggravating/accelerating what was inevitable?

    From late March through early May, we had weekly cold snaps - from the 70s/80s down to at or just below freezing, often with precip and strong north winds, and then back up to the 70s within the span of a week - and while I thought I had been diligent protecting my trees and bringing them in/out of the garage when necessary, obviously I either left them out too long or brought them back out too soon as I have definitely lost two trees, and quite possibly two more.

    All of my trees were sprayed twice with phyton 27, 2 weeks apart, shortly before bud-break. Of the two trees I hope to save, Shiro and Amagi shigure, I have severely pruned the affected limbs and thus far I have not seen the telltale black spot on the main trunk; I am keeping my fingers crossed on these two. I also sprayed them quite liberally again yesterday, after pruning, with they phyton. The other two trees, Shishi yatsubusa and Tequila Sunset, are beyond saving as they both have large black spots at the base of the trunk below the graft union. I'm saddened at losing my Shishi, but I am pretty devastated at losing my little Tequila since I don't know if I will ever be able to replace this tree now that Del has retired.

    Is there anything else that can be done to hopefully save the other two trees?
     

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  2. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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  3. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    Based on what I've read on this forum and elsewhere, and the pictures I've seen, I'm fairly sure it is pseudomonas; if it isn't, based on the symptoms/evidence, what else could it be? Dark/black spots, sometimes smaller, sometimes larger, appear on the branche(s) and/or trunk, and spread, eventually turning the affected area that lovely dead-brown color. http://pnwhandbooks.org/plantdisease/maple-acer-sp-bacterial-leaf-spot-and-dieback This pretty much describes what I'm seeing in my trees.

    I have the bayer 3-in-1 insect, disease and mite control; I believe it has the same ingredients, but I will double-check. Do you apply it as a drench or spray it on? Anything to save my trees.
     
  4. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I don't guess K4 is suggesting the Bayer product for pseudomonas. It seems to be a fungicide, and so wouldn't help against a bacterial infection like pseudomonas. There as far as I know your only weapon is copper, i.e. phyton (IIRC contains copper).

    Pseudomonas do indeed cause the worst damage when the temp is near freezing. I believe they actually lower the temperature locally to cause ice crystallization, then enter through the resulting wound. Pretty good survival strategy for one of the oldest life forms on the planet...

    My experience is that after leaf out the maples become less susceptible, FWIW. Very sorry to hear about your losses.

    -E
     
  5. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I use the Bayer spray, not the drench.

    I have never sprayed anything other than this product. Never used a copper product. I have had several plants that had black patches on the trunk or limbs that completely recovered after using this product. Also, my Sango Kaku is completely free of cankers and die-back after using it. I realize its for fungal infections, but perhaps a side effect is to reduce other types of infections? Who knows? I just know it has worked for me so I use it at the first sign of trouble.
     
  6. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    Emery, K4 thank you for the recommendations and advice. I am certainly willing to give the Bayer a try - at this point, it couldn't do more damage than what already has been/is being done.

    I heard somewhere that the most sensitive/susceptible time for trees to be damaged or infected is during the bud and leaf out stage, and just after; is this correct? Other than trying to keep them out of the extreme cold and wind, and doing preventative sprayings of the phyton, is there anything else that can be done to (hopefully) prevent the trees from falling victim to the pseudomonas or other diseases.
     
  7. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    Amagi definitely on the way out, same with Shiro, and now possibly my Tsukushigata :( Supposed to have rain again today and tomorrow, so I will spray once the weather clears.

    I do have a question though: I can't recall reading anything regarding this either way on the forum or elsewhere, but can pseudomonas be passed between trees if they are kept close together? (I know pruning tools should be cleaned/sterilized between plants, especially if disease is suspected.)
     
  8. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    The bacteria can be spread between trees via rain splash.
     
  9. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    I've never seen pseudomonas do that kind of widespread damage on such a wide selection of cultivars. It tends to be deadly on coral bark varieties with occasional die back on others (or a rare case of killing a small tree, but not several).

    How is the soil drainage in your containers?
    I wouldn't rule out phytophera, fusarium, alternaria, or possibly even verticillium. All of these can be deadly if soil conditions are conducive to fungal growth (often cool and wet). Blackening tissue coming up from the root flare and making its way up the trunk is a sign of some of these infections. "Root rots" are usually due to wet conditions but it isn't always the case.

    Black portions on the ends of branches can be signs of some of these as well (including pseudomonas), but they typically don't kill the tree as it can flush out in other areas fairly readily.

    Soil drenches of Subdue or Alliette can help with mild cases of some of these pathogens, but with severe infections there is not much we can do.
     
  10. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    Because of the black spots, and what I have read on pseudomonas, this is what first came to mind and what I think it is, but I could definitely be wrong.

    With Tequila Sunset, it started as some leaves wilting on one of the branches (May 7); I thought that maybe the young new growth had gotten too cold (strong north winds, temps around or a little above freezing for 2-3 days). I sprayed with it phyton 27, hoping this would help treat/prevent any further spread of possible disease, etc. Unfortunately, I had to go out of town for 5 days (May 8-13), and when I came home, the branch with the wilted leaves was now brown and dead, with a couple of black spots on other branches and a nice black spot at the base of the trunk. (While I was gone, it was placed in a sheltered, mostly shaded protected area, with my hubby watering as needed.) Within a day or two, the dead areas and black spots had spread significantly and it was obvious the tree was doomed.

    With Shishi yatsubusa, another small tree (not even 1ft tall), it had seemed completely fine, but when I returned, all leaves were wilted and drying, and I noticed a sizable black spot at the base of the trunk. For Amagi, a few leaves had looked a little wilted before I left - Peaches and Cream had looked the same, and it is fine (I thought a bit too much cold/wind for the both) - and when I got home, nearly all leaves were wilted. With the dark purplish bark, it was hard to see if there were any black spots, but there was nothing at the base of the trunk, just a bit of die-back on the tips. For Shiro, all leaves had looked fine before leaving, and all were wilted when I got home, and there were a few black spots where some of the smaller branches came off the larger ones. For Amagi and Shiro, I did a severe pruning, hoping to halt the spread of the infection/die-back, and sprayed liberally with the phyton (May 15). Shiro now has a couple of other dark spots and obviously dead wood, but it hasn't seemed to spread quite as fast. Amagi I'm pretty sure is a goner, it has several larger dead section on the trunk, one fairly low down, and I can faintly pick out some black spots.

    My Tsukushigata, a late one to leaf out, had just started doing so in the week before I left; when I got home, all the leaves and buds were dried up, but not wilty like with the above trees. All branches and the trunk looked fine (ie, no black spots), but now in the last day or so, I've seen some black spots showing up where some of the small branches come off the larger ones and a little bit on some small branch tips.

    I should note, as per K4's suggestion, I did spray all of my trees with the Bayer Disease Control on May 20 - I figured it couldn't hurt and possibly might help.

    Quite good, water starts running out almost immediately when I water. Equal parts potting soil with perlite, pine bark mulch, coco coir, and turface. Obviously I don't let my maples dry out to the bone, but I do typically let the top inch or so (most are in 2g or larger fabric pots) get dry before watering again.

    As I am not very familiar with the above possible diseases/infections, I will have to do some reading. Can they cause symptoms similar to what I'm seeing (ie, the seemingly random locations for the black spots, rapid progression in most cases, etc)? I do think that the repeated cold fronts that came through every week for about 6 weeks straight, and then the warm-up back into the 70s certainly played a roll. I did my best to shelter my trees when temps got down to freezing (hauled back into the garage, etc), especially when precip. was involved. But, maybe I left them out too long or brought them back out too soon...
     
  11. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    I'm certainly not an experts on pathogens, but from my understanding the blackening at the base of the tree is often due to phytophthera or fusarium in the root system. However, your soil medium seems exceptionally well drained, so that makes it unlikely that they would thrive so much in those conditions.

    When you pull the tree out of the pot take a look at the roots. If they are/were alive and appear relatively healthy, psuedomonas up in the trunk/stem tissue could be the main culprit. However, if they are really black and the root "bark" is flaky and peeling, this is usually a sign of root rot from one of these pathogens. We also shouldn't rule out another issue with the roots like fertilizer burn or cold injury (but it doesn't sound like that is probable in your case).

    Certainly the late cold snaps could have been a problem...they are so sensitive when they are budding out.

    I lost two of my small containerized trees this spring after they got drought stressed late last summer (irrigation head was clogged). They survived the winter but the weakened trees collapsed during the spring because the root system succumbed to root pathogens (most likely). The very wet weather this spring didn't help; I have also had several foliar and stem fungi problems where airflow was limited.

    Hope this helps a little.
     
  12. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    I will definitely take a close look at the roots, maybe they will help give me some clue as to what is - or is not - going one.

    I don't think fertilizer burn is likely to be part of/the problem, since I use a very mild organic fertilizer (Fox Farm's Japanese Maple dry fertilizer, 4-8-5), and I only applied a small amount back in late March/early April. Cold injury from the cold snaps, or drought stress from last summer (over 50 days of 100 or hotter, and next to no rain) I think are the most likely causes if this is a result of the trees already being weakened. We did have more moisture this spring than last year - though just about anything would beat last year - but nothing out of the ordinary.

    I am now worried about my Ueno yama, all of its leaves have gone wilty in the past day or two, and though I don't see any black spots currently, I'm sure they will show up shortly if this is yet another victim... Bihou I think I will lose too (though it's a very tiny mite of a thing), it's got a lot of die-back at the tip, and there are two or three dark spots further down the trunk too. Should I keep all of my healthy - well, those that currently appear healthy - away from those that aren't just in case?

    I did water today with Fox Farm's Boomerang, a new product in their Bush Doctor line they tout as a 'comeback' formula; I also used some Superthrive. I'm willing to try just about anything right now in the hopes that something will help my trees. :(
     
  13. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I don't think it's a good idea to fertilize sick trees. I agree though K4's magic spray is worth a shot, you never know exactly what's going on. Also there are a number of fungi (nectria anyway) that attack the dead tissue left by pseudomonas, so controlling those can't be a bad idea.

    Aliette etc drenches used prophylactically are a bad idea because they upset the mychorrhizal balance, sometimes carefully established (and expensive!), in the soil. It is meant to be effective against phytophthora though.

    Pseudomonas certainly attack a wide range of palmatum cultivars, as well as many other maple species. Some species (longipes ssp catalpifolium, campbelli ssp, section macrantha) are even more susceptible. Perhaps bark thickness is a governing factor?

    Sudden spring wilt can be caused by fusarium, verticillium, and maybe other unknown causes. Losing a maple this way is always particularly frustrating to me, because there really seems to be nothing to be done. I've had terrible luck with A. distylum this way, of the 2 I've ever managed to get hold of, both have died immediately from wilt. I currently seem to be losing a new, potted and not even transplanted campbelli ssp sinense to wilt.
     
  14. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    Tsukushigata and Shiro are definitely goners, pulled them this afternoon; the roots were darker than what I thought they should be (especially compared to the large Nuresagi I repotted today too), and kinda 'peely' too.

    I took Bihou and Hana matoi to a local nursery for their input this afternoon - not the one I would have preferred to go to, but that one is closed today and tomorrow - and the lady wasn't terribly helpful, pretty much inferring that I just had to let them do what they were going to do. When I mentioned the possibilities of pseudomonas, phytopthera, verticillium, etc, she didn't seem to know what I was talking about and suggested that I should take my trees to the local extension office so they could send a sample off for testing. Going to try going to my preferred nursery on Tuesday and see what they have to say. We did pull Bihou from the pot, though, and the rootball is exceptionally small; it easily fit in one hand, and I have small hands. The roots did look quite dark, but she thought if I potted it into a smaller container, and cut back the affected growth, it might have a chance, so I did do that upon getting home.

    I'm going to try pruning a few affected branch ends off on Seiryu or Hana tomorrow, spray the wound with an RTU fungicide (Fertilome, http://www.fertilome.com/product.aspx?pid=6514ee8e-0470-46f2-ba0d-77db77c759eb), and then seal the wound with my cutpaste and see if it helps prevent/slow the spread of the dying branch. Would you suggest spraying the entire tree with the fungicide too on the off-chance it is fungal??
     
  15. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    It shouldn't hurt to go ahead and spray the trees with the Daconil you have there. I've used it on several occasions and had success where foliar fungus has given me problems. I normally don't use it haphazardly, but when you have serious problems it is probably a good idea to spray just to be safe.
     

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