Is this ukigumo okay?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by MapleZen, Apr 27, 2022.

  1. MapleZen

    MapleZen Active Member

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    Wonderful as always to see the variety of Acers leafing out this spring. However, my showstopper -- a 6-year-old, 4-foot-tall ukigumo -- appears to be amiss. Everything else on my property has leafed out already, but my ukigumo is still very slowly emerging from its buds, and appears to be a full month behind everything else (photo 1 below). I actually feared it was dead, as the buds weren't even swollen at the start of this month.

    A few weeks ago, when I thought it had actually died, I noticed multiple discrete areas of decay on the bark (photo 2 below). I sprayed them copiously with Bordeaux and hoped for the best. It's hard for me to tell if they're healing, or if the decay is progressing. The rest of the tree appears normal (photo 3 below).

    Questions:
    1) Is it normal for ukigumo to leaf out later in spring?
    2) Can anyone identify the trunk lesions?
    3) Was dousing it in Bordeaux the right move?
    4) Should I wrap the lesions or treat them with anything else?

    Thanks!
     

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  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Good evening @MapleZen, to your first question. No a Ukigumo leafs out in April quite regularly, but there are a lot of trees where I live at least two to three weeks later to leaf out than normal. I was asking D @LoverOfMaples only yesterday if a maple he had was later this year and he replied 'yes'. So yours could be one that is later this year.
    Re the trunk lesions, this looks like animal damage IMO. What is the rodent situation like there in NYC ? Over here we have similar with grey squirrel damage. Now if the damage had not girdles your maple then there is still hope. I would suggest a tree guard. You can purchase plastic forestry guards that protect from deer. This would do the trick.
    I don't believe Bordeaux mix will help your tree in this instance. But dousing it will not harm it.
    Re wrapping the lesions, I would not do this. Leave the tree to heal itself, but you need to protect it from further damage. So this brings me back to the tree guard.
    One thing that is natural to deter pests is a strong home made garlic spray. Most animals hate this smell. A couple of crushed garlic cloves mixed in hot water then left to cool. Place in a spray bottle and douse the bottom of the trunk and around the drip zone.
    Now these are my thoughts as I have seen first hand squirrel damage and this looks very very similar.
    Don't lose heart, the buds are there albeit struggling to get the nutrients and water to them due to the damage. So act now to prevent full girldling and you will be surprised at how the maple will act to heal itself.
     
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  3. LoverOfMaples

    LoverOfMaples Generous Contributor Maple Society

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    I agree D.


    @MapleZen my 'Ukigumo' is at the same stage as yours. Your tree seem to be healing well from whatever damaged it, I wouldn't be too worried if I were you. The rest of the bark seems fine with nice color.
     
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  4. MapleZen

    MapleZen Active Member

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    Thanks! We have no deer to speak of, but we do have large numbers of cotton tail rabbits and grey squirrels. I have ~30 maples on my property and this is the only one where I noticed such markings, so if it is animal-related, I wonder why they only prefer my most expensive one! :)
     
  5. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Often no rhyme or reason why they attack one particular tree, but it's surprising what habit will do to make an animal return to the same place time and time again.
     
  6. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I just wanted to add that the damage is showing quite well developed "wound wood" around the edges of the wounds which suggests that whatever happened was a while ago, certainly not during the winter just gone.

    Also, the proximity to the sidewalk allows for the possibility of damage from different kinds of animals - whether it is the type that ride scooters and skateboards or those that are taken for a walk on a leash.
     
  7. LoverOfMaples

    LoverOfMaples Generous Contributor Maple Society

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    I never had a rabbit problem until this year :(
     
  8. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Very good point M.
     
  9. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Generous Contributor

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    I had a grey squirrel problem causing damage until 12months ago but strangely I think they have moved on.

    Several of my Ukigumo’s are yet to fully leaf out..I’d say yours is only days away
     

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  10. LoverOfMaples

    LoverOfMaples Generous Contributor Maple Society

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    Beautiful Maine Coon you have there. My guy have been gone 2 years now. I have been really thinking about getting another one. I didnt have a problem with anything when he was here, lol.
     
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  11. MapleZen

    MapleZen Active Member

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    That's quite an odd looking grey squirrel!
     
  12. MapleZen

    MapleZen Active Member

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    Quick follow-up: if I wanted to pot the tree and put it in a protected place for the time being, would that be okay at this early stage of leafing-out, or should I wait? It has been in its current location in the ground for less than one year. I don't want to stress the tree out, but I'd prefer to put somewhere safer.
     
  13. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    As it has been in less than a year the roots won't have spread that much yet so to my mind the least stressful option would be to move it ASAP. After leaf-out the roots are going to start growing again so the longer you leave it the more difficult a job you will have on your hands.
     
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  14. MapleZen

    MapleZen Active Member

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    So, update: I dig it up, potted it, put on a plastic tree guard, and placed it in a sheltered location in the backyard. It has made a stark turnaround, and has fully leafed out in a glorious white cloud display. There are, however, a number of semi-reverted and fully reverted leaves that have now formed (see photo). I do want to stress that there are no fully reverted branches, but rather, random individually reverted leaves among the big white clusters. Should these be pruned now, or left alone considering how much stress the tree has been through?
    IMG_9667.JPG
     
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  15. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Remove those leaves now @MapleZen, they have all hardened off well, so it will not stress your tree. You want to encourage the white and green variegation, not the plain green.
    It's looking lovely btw.
     
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