Is this root rot?? (pics)

Discussion in 'Maples' started by banjoboy, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. banjoboy

    banjoboy Active Member

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    Hello everyone, I would really appreciate any advice you can give me. Let me explain my situation.

    I left the States for a year to work abroad. I had about 200 Japanese maples. (Maybe about 80 cultivars, 1-6 year grafts and over a hundred young maples I plan to use as rootstocks.) I left them with my wonderful parents. My parents don’t know anything about plants so I put my maples in a small area under a tree with an automatic watering system. I figured a little too much water would be better than all the 4-inch (pots) maples drying and dying in the hot southern Oregon sun.

    Anyway I came back home and after a year of being left alone my maples had turned into a thick jungle. I picked out all the dead ones that got choked out and then noticed that many of the ones still living had splotches of black bark. I attached some pictures of this. I’m assuming this has killed everything in the area including the cambium layer. I think this is root-rot……is it? If it is, how do I treat it? I read in Vertrees book that I need to use a fungicide. (on the roots or branches?) But do I need to cut off all the black branches or completely throw the trees away (burn them?) Should I quarantine the sick ones so they don’t infect the ones that don’t have it yet? How serious is this? Will I loss everything? Thanks so much in advance for your help.
     

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  2. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    What makes you think it is root rot?, what do you mean by root rot anyway?
    Some of your pics are very much like some of my maples after a bad bout of pseudomonas.
    My suggestion is that you do nothing other what you have already done (no fungicides) and see what happens next year.

    Gomero
     
  3. banjoboy

    banjoboy Active Member

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    Gomero, thanks so much for responding.

    The reason i thought it was root rot was because i had something similar happen to a maple a few years ago. I described it to the person i bought it from and they said it was probably root rot from over watering. The tree's bark started to turn black and it spread throughout the tree and died within a week.

    I thought that both Pythium and Pseudomonas were what caused root rot. I am just worried that I got this on all my maples because they got over watered during my year away. I don't want to lose everything!!!

    I went to a local nursery and talked to them about it and they said they thought it was 'canker'. However, i don't see any reddish brown sap and the areas don't look swollen.

    Gomero, if you have something similar, how have you treated it? I guess i'm in a hurry (panic) because i don't want to lose my whole collection of maples if it spreads.

    One more thing, the dead black bark is spreading around entire branches and trunks (girdling) so i think at the very least i'll lose some major parts of my trees.
     
  4. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    From my understanding psuedomonas is not easily (or not at all) cured with treatments (maybe bacterial). I read somewhere that it attacks during late winter/early spring under wet conditions when cold temps are still present. My suggestion would be to prune infected areas if you can (I don't know if I would prune back the main trunk as shown on these pics but smaller limbs might be OK), and keep them a bit drier during that time of year (after all they don't need much until they leaf out).
     
  5. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I am not saying 100% sure that your problem is pseudomonas. If indeed that's the problem, then Mattlwfowler's comments are right to the point.

    What was the schedule?, everyday?, for how long?, all seasons?

    Gomero
     
  6. banjoboy

    banjoboy Active Member

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    I had the watering schedule set for 10 minutes at 6 pm everyday in the summer. My parents turned it off during the winter and only turned it on when it wasn't raining in the spring. I didn't want to make it difficult for my parents. It was either the automatic system or i had to get rid of all my maples.

    So if i understand it correctly, its some kind of fungus (all of them are essentially treated the same) and it should just be pruned off. Some of my 1st/2nd year grafts have the black bark around the entire trunk. Obviously i can't prune that, so are those lost or should i hang on to them. I just dont' want to infect the ones that aren't sick. Thanks again for both your help.

    -Emile

    I thought i read in Vertrees book that for psuedomonas i should use a fungicide. I don't like using chemicals but if its either i lose all my maples or i put aside my morals for a bit......i choose saving my maples.
     
  7. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    Technically I think pseudomonas is a bacteria...and therefore fungicides are not too effective. It is worth a try I guess if you want to give a try, but I think late winter is when it will become an issue again.
     
  8. banjoboy

    banjoboy Active Member

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    Ok, thanks matt. I guess i'll just prune all the branches and hope for the best. But what about the ones with it around the trunk. Are these lost.....is the cambium dead? Or do this have some hope. thanks again.
     
  9. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Not necessarily, keep them and see what happens next year, I've had some like that which recovered.

    By the way your schedule is pretty much like mine (I water for 20 min) and I do not think it would induce any kind of root rot.

    Gomero
     
  10. alex66

    alex66 Rising Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    cut the branch black,and after use one fungicide with copper...
    watering every day is a bad method,because ,maple want high % of humidity soil,with good drainage,if you watering every day the humidity remain in first part of soil and this is the cause of "root fungi"sorry in Italian is better "marciume radicale".
    in summer i watering every 2 days ,every maple (one or two year graft) two gallon
    i live in zone 9 and my maples have many hours of sun..
     

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