Is my maple sick?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by MrFRg, Jan 6, 2019.

  1. MrFRg

    MrFRg New Member

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    Can anyone point me in the right direction of what to do with my tree. It seems to be turning black and dying from the top down.
     

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  2. 0soyoung

    0soyoung Member

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    You have several instances of die back that is clearly normal - a cut internode will inevitably die back to the the next lower node. But there is some other instances that might not be normal. It could be that the tree got desiccated late in the season, it may have been hit by a pathogen, it may be okay - I simply cannot tell from the photos.

    The key thing to do is to look for buds. If you find that all the buds are gone and there is only the 'socket' where they were = yes, dead. An occasional missing bud is nothing to worry about, but any branch on which you find no tip buds and no node buds going down toward the trunk is dead to the point where you begin seeing buds.

    There's not much to be done about it now other than to protect it from any further damaging conditions until spring; i.e., think about what might have happened and act to prevent this from occurring through the rest of the winter; e.g. protect from wind and/or bright sun, water occasionally.

    The general description you give indicates desiccation or maybe a pseudomonas syrngae infection. Cold dry wind, cold with bright sun characteristically kill the cambium on the sunny, southern side of the tree and are sometimes called 'winter burn'. Pseudomonas infection usually happens during an ice storm and the infection tends to be on the windward side. The good news in all of this is that as long as there in a continuous line of green down at least one side of the trunk, it may recover.
     
  3. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    re pot this maple, change every soil ,for me the cause is bad dreinage and underwatering or overwatering ,in summer use pine bark -
     
  4. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    Looking closer at photo 1, is this pot sunk in the ground for the winter? Where is this potted maple located?

    There is a problem that could be corrected, but I need a better understanding of the situation. My questions are leading towards soil staying too saturated and or tree needs better protection while getting acclimated to your winter winds and cold.

    Additional food for thought: Cold Hardy is not absolute like a tag may lead one to believe; factors such as age, over all health, seasonal stress, fertilizer, potting soil, winter sun exposure, wind exposure, frost exposure, cultivar, and past living conditions (such as tree came from milder climate or greenhouse) can kill a tree that is described as otherwise Hardy. Also sun warming the pot by day and cooling at night can destroy a so called Hardy Japanese maple.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
  5. MrFRg

    MrFRg New Member

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    I had the tree in a large pot up until it started showing signs of stress(late summer). I assumed either water or soil. So I repotted the tree into a smaller pot. It has continued to go down hill.

    I have all my potted trees tucked up against my house protected from the elements.

    We have also had a record amount of rainfall this past year.

    I can take more pics of the tree tomorrow if needed. I just dont want to lose this tree. Thanks for all the feed back.
     
  6. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    What soil mix are you using? I suspect it is holding too much moisture (too high in peat and or compost that holds water like a sponge and limits much needed oxygen to the roots; needs more pine bark and pumice stone or haydite) Do you have access to a cedar box planter similar to what is in the picture? It's about 14" L*W*D. You could also get another nursery pot that is larger than what you have it in now. Keep in mind we want to avoid a pot that is tall and narrow (preferably something sightly taller and 50% wider) along with a power cordless drill and 1/2" drill bit preferably a brad point bit.

    If you use a nursery pot, take a picture of the pot next to your tree in it's current pot and a picture of the drain holes showing size and location. (So I can provide you with further instructions on how to proceed) Otherwise a cedar box is preferred.

    Taking action is required, because late January into March is prime time for collapse due to drainage issues or problems related to soil that retains too much moisture. Since you want to do what it takes to try and save this tree, I am recommending action before this critical period of time that pathogens have ideal condions to run rampant.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  7. MrFRg

    MrFRg New Member

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    Finally got some time yesterday to repot the tree. I took it out of the pot and cleaned all the soil off the roots. Its was a peat compost mix and had alot of moisture. I put it in a larger pot with more and bigger drain holes. I used a bark soil mixture to reply.

    One other possible issue I saw was the roots. There are several large roots growing very tightly together. Not sure if that's causing any problem or if there is anything to do about it.
     

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