I think my 'Bonfire' is dying, what do you think?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by JT1, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    I think my 'Bonfire' is dying, what do you think?

    After collecting and studying Japanese maples for several years, I am bound to lose one, or so I think? Below are pictures of the trunk of my 4.5' 'Bonfire'. I think it may be its last season, based on the black coloration developing around the stem. The tree is also having a hard time supporting growth at the tips along the top, it keeps failing.

    I hold in high regard, the level of knowledge and experience of the members on this forum, so I wanted to see what you think. Thanks in advance for your feedback!
     

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  2. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi John,

    My first reaction is to say that I'm sorry for your loss. If the black goes all the way around, and that is indeed the graft line, then it is finished. Even if you treat with some miracle chemical, the black is necrotic tissue. If it isn't ringed, it will have only a small place for nutrients to pass. Looks like classic run away pseudomonas infection.

    Sorry.

    -E
     
  3. SFyffe

    SFyffe Active Member

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    Hi john,

    Looks like the black has not made it all the way around. Is it possible in a situation like this to carve out all the dying wood and cover we a pruning seal? You would need to sheer the top so there would not be so much tree to support.

    If it were mine I would try this.


    Regards,

    Stephen
     
  4. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    Thank you both very much for the feedback.

    Emery, I like how you started your reply with sorry for your loss:-) My wife said that sounds like something I would say to someone faced with the same situation. The graft line is either really low or the tree was grown from a cutting. The necrotic tissue is spreading at an alarming rate. It's not all the way around yet, but the leaves are dropping like crazy in the past two days. It's game over for this one. I am already looking for a replacement.

    Stephen, you and I are on the same page. Since our garden tour is comming up and we have limited space (otherwise I would be all over your idea) we are looking at replacing the tree. My wife wants it out of that bed. So I am putting a spin on your idea. I am going to have the tree removed and cut it back below the black and put it into a nursery pot. I will use the existing buds and newly formed branches to try as a bonsai. The trunk and root spread are nice. So maybe in a few years it will make a nice bonsai. Or it will die, but I figure its worth a shot.

    Thanks again and I will keep you posted.

    Take care,

    John
     
  5. ajaykalra

    ajaykalra Member

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    JT1,

    That does look like its not going to make it. I have this happened to my 10 year old bloodgood last year(mid summer) and I cut the impacted branch but it continued the declien and it didnt come back this year. I had the same happened to Sangu Kaku and I cut the infected major branch and it came back this year. I leveled the tree by bringing other major branches to roughly the same level and tree is going thru the fresh growth. However I am sure this problem will come back but I may be wrong. With over 50 maples in ground, I have lost over 3 or 4 mature maples in last 7 years. My potted maples are too new to factor in.

    Ajay
     
  6. Thumblessprimate

    Thumblessprimate Member

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    I had similar black "lesions" on my viridis. The maple was slightly thicker than a pencil. The advice I got was to plant it into the ground. I did that and now my maple is still alive and strong. In fact, it grew in girth significantly and slightly in overall size.
     

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