Is it dead?

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by Tobin, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. Tobin

    Tobin Active Member

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    Hey guys,

    So I poneyed up for a nice, big Abies pindrow...about an 8-footer. I planted it Easter weekend and it is dropping needles like there's no tomorrow. Is it cooked? I'm worried I'm worried I disturbed the rootball too much when I rolled it into position. My gosh, I wasn't THAT rough on it, though. There are still needles holding very firmly to stems and the buds on the tips look fine. Give it to me straight...I can handle it.
     

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Outlook not too good. Top failure is often caused by root failure. Probably either something is not right with the rooting environment now, or it came from the vendor with an issue that is now manifesting because it is spring - I've had transplanted/recently purchased camellias look okay until spring, then defoliate and show themselves to actually be dead. In the former case the problem would have been roots being cut back too far, in the latter perhaps sitting out during winter cold in a small pot at the store.
     
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    A wait-and-see job. If the buds come out OK, it should recover. Don't give up until late June or July, though.
     
  4. Tobin

    Tobin Active Member

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    Thanks fellas. I'll be patient and post a reply end of July or thereabouts.
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I now see a fungus needle cast may be visible in the third photo. Although not apparent in the other two shots, it does make me wonder if it had a role in the defoliation.

    I also now see the 'Black Tulip' in the background. The ones at garden centers here come from Monrovia, and as usual with them (and too many other growers) are obviously badly root-bound. You may need to dig yours up next spring and pull the roots open, if possible - otherwise it might strangle itself or blow over later, when it is much larger and heavier.

    A tree that is above your head in the pot being tightly fastened to a stout stake is always a red flag. Trees are not vines and should be quite able to hold themselves up when several feet or more tall.
     
  6. Tobin

    Tobin Active Member

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    Well it seems to have survived! New growth pushed out in late June and while it was very short it appeared even throughout the tree. I think the trouble was overly aggressive movement of the rootball. In fact, I'm almost positive. I was in touch with the grower throuout the spring and he said several other dig jobs with that species were pushing out growth just fine and upwards of a foot at that. Hopefully the defoliation won't be too unsightly in a few years...I'm just happy it's not dead!

    How observant, Ron. Yep, that's a Black Tulip. You are right on most of your points but I'm unsure about how root bound it was. I'm usually quite good at checking for that but I just don't remember what it looked like. It WAS about five feet tall an totaled and it bent all the way to the ground in a MASSIVE, but very short, wind storm. I found the tree bent to the ground and thought it was a goner, but after staking the main trunk it seemed to stabilize and survive. The former leader never grew again, but side shoots seem to have taken over and I helped things along by cutting the old leader back about a foot a year. Quite the effort, I realize, but it seems to be growing along fine now and a recent bed expansion of the area around that tree found magnolia roots well out from the tree.
     
  7. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Nice that it's survived!
     

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