Japanese Maple Bark Related Issues

Discussion in 'Maples' started by mjh1676, Jul 31, 2005.

  1. winterhaven

    winterhaven Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    What should I do about this?
     

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  2. eq72521

    eq72521 Active Member

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    That's a great looking specimen. Do you know how old it is? Looks to have been there and pruned well for a long time. Mike
     
  3. winterhaven

    winterhaven Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Thanks.

    This is what I know about the tree...
    The people we bought the place from in January '08 lived here for 20 years. It was a "nice tree" when they bought the property. These same previous owners put in a series of three cascading ponds that culvert out to the base of our cliff as part of a water management plan for the seasonal creek. When they did that, they planned around this tree. For which I am very grateful.

    I aslo know that their teenage son trimmed a large branch and other branches against express orders not to touch the tree. Looking at the cut on the limb when I crawl around the tree I can see that the tree used to stretch over the little stream (the big cut size is smaller than a quarter, bigger than a nickel).

    When my husband and I moved here I cut out a lot of deadwood, injured wood and numerous obvious interference branches on the tree. At that point I stopped myself and decided to let the tree recover for a year (I am a pruning novice). I planned to study the tree over the winter (and pruning techniques) and to decide where to cut over the winter and to actually cut in the Spring.

    Well, I had an aesthetic pruner over to deadwood a 60 year old Ornamental Cherry and old Hawthorn and to climb a couple of Bitter Cherry trees to get the English Ivy I couldn't reach. After trimming the Ornamental Cherry and the Hawthorn I left to do some errands. It took him so long to get all that ivy that he "felt bad about how much that would cost me" and pruned my JM as a gift.

    At first, I didn't even notice. I just thought to myself, wow, I took off a lot more than I thought on that tree, I guess I got carried away. But the next time I talked to him, he asked me how I liked what he had done. So I went out and really looked at the tree. That's when I noticed the white round area 2/3 of the way up on the right hand trunk. I was feeling a little sad that I hadn't gotten to do it myself (which was probably a good thing, I AM a novice) so I didn't look at the tree that hard. I didn't remember a large branch starting at that spot, but couldn't imagine he would just lop off a branch like that without talking to me. But then it would never ocur to me that someone would trim ANY tree without asking first. Especially if he had thought about how neurotic I was about ever single branch on the Cherry that he did trim. Anyway, when the tree got its fall color I went down with the camera to take some photos and that's when I saw the holes in the trunk. I speculate that at that spot there was a nub of deadwood (I'm always afraid I might cut into the ring, so I tend to cut a little long and then cut again a year later) and that this deadwood created a home for (a) critter(s). So it was probably a really, really good thing that my guy pruned the the tree for me. And I do love the shape.

    But now I need to know, ARE THERE CRITTERS IN MY TREE?!? Am I going to loose this beauty? What can I do now to try and save the tree and its pretty shape?
     
  4. tjcher

    tjcher Active Member

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  5. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Good link tjcher, thank you.

    What is puzzling is that they say:
    Does it mean that the agent causing the condition is not the herbicide but the surfactant(s) used in the herbicide preparation?, or is it that without the surfactant the glyphosate would not be taken up by the roots of woody plants?
    It is not all clear

    Gomero
     
  6. tjcher

    tjcher Active Member

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    Indeed, not clear at all.

    I'm curious to get your opinions. I have 4 japanese maples planted in the ground, and many in pots (I lose count sometimes...). All 4 in-ground maples show symptoms of what could be tight bark. However, we had 3 MAJOR hail storms earlier this spring / summer and I assumed that the symptoms were a result of hail damage, as it is only on the tops of branches, seems worse on exposed branches, and only on trees planted in the ground (my potted trees could easily be brought under protection). All of these trees have some time during the year in which they get a lot of sun, but it is seasonal, depending on the position of the sun. So, for example, my 9 foot bloodgood gets a lot of hot sun in august, but is back to its "morning sun, afternoon shade" as the fall sets in.

    So let me ask the question in another way: Is anyone growing ANY Japanese Maple in full sun that does not show any symptoms of tight bark?
     
  7. winterhaven

    winterhaven Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I recently acquired a tree and after planting it in the ground noticed some orange spots in some dead wood within the crown. I have been told that this is nectar canker (or maybe nicture canker)? I was further told to cut the infected wood out and to be sure to disinfect my pruning tools. Does anyone know more? Are these fungal colonies? What are the known treatments? What are the implications of finding these orange spots for the individual tree and/or a collection?
     
  8. AlainK

    AlainK Well-Known Member Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    I orderd three cultivars that i recieved in February. I noticed that two of them had black/brown spots on the bark, but I waited to see if they leafed out or if it was a serious problem.

    It seems it is : my A. p. 'Arakawa' leafed out, but the spot on the trunk progressed until it circled completely the trunk, and then the leaves died.

    The A. p. 'Beni Hagoromo' leafed out on only one of the branches, but thesse seem weak in comparison to a small one which is below the dark spot.

    Any idea what this might be?
     

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  9. eq72521

    eq72521 Active Member

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    AlianK,
    I've lost a few plant's to the stuff on the left pic. A purple Ghost. In my case, I noticed that the pot had poor drainage, and an Ant colony thriving in it. I would cut the top off, burn it, and see what happens in both cases.
     
  10. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Alain,

    My hunch is that it is Verticillium alboatrum coming from the rootstock, the plant rather than dying at the nursery, died on you. And since over here, in Europe, we do not have any convenient means for testing we will remain with conjenctures like mine. I also lost 3 small grafts, like yours, with exactly the same symptoms in the original pots from the supplier.
    I do suggest you ship your deceased plants back to your supplier for a refund.


    Gomero
     
  11. AlainK

    AlainK Well-Known Member Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Thank you very much for your answers. Verticillium is also what I suspected, unfortunately.

    This is very disappointing : 2 out of three is a bit much, and what's more, I posted two messages to my supplier last week and I still have no answer I am a bit angry too that they were obviously sick before being packaged, and I can't imagine that professionals don't notice this kind of things before sending trees...
     
  12. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Alain, both trees have telltale symptoms of a
    non gummosis, wet lesion form of Pseudomonas
    syringae
    . The black discolored areas in the live
    wood are usually seen right above the graft and/or
    right below the graft in juvenile trees. Yes, Gomero
    the bacterium probably entered the plant via infected
    rootstock but also could have come from infected
    budwood also.

    Verticillium alboatrum does not cause the black
    discolored areas in live wood but can be seen later
    on as black colored bands in dead wood (see photo
    below).

    The photo below was taken a few years ago. The
    black banding as seen on old dead wood can easily
    be seen due to Verticillium alboatrum. The white
    bands and the white discolored areas allover the
    dead wood is due to Tight Bark. You will not see
    the black bands followed by a grayish white colored
    banding (as seen in the center of the photo) on live
    wood from Pseudomonas or Xanthomonas infected
    Maples, only golden to brown to black colored areas
    on live wood.

    I'll take some liberty to show this cross cut section
    of a photo supplied to me courtesy of Michael Healy.
    The magenta colored flecking in the center of the wood
    is due to Pseudomonas syringae. The golden brown
    colored concentric ring nearer the outer wood is due
    to Verticillium alboatrum. Verticillium dahliae when
    viewed in live wood will be seen as a golden to brown
    discolored mass nearer the center of the branch, nearer
    the pith. Verticillium alboatrum plugs up the phloem
    generally from the top of the tree spreading downwards.
    Verticillium dahliae plugs up the xylem from the bottom
    moving upwards into the tree.

    Jim
     

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    Last edited: May 4, 2010
  13. AlainK

    AlainK Well-Known Member Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Thank you very much indeed for this very informative reply.
     
  14. boloxis

    boloxis Active Member

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    Help!!! In the first 3 pics is my Koto no Ito trunk, it looks like its spreading, this trunk was healthy right after winter. I removed the stake tape on the area in the middle. What do I do to treat it? Copper sulfate stuff is not available for retail here in Canada and Bayer systemic fungicide is also not sold here in Canada or anywhere near the US border. Any advice how to treat this?

    In the next two pics is my Oridono Nishiki trunk, looks like the same thing only drier and not spreading as fast as my Koto no Ito. Does the bark of trunks heal in time or is this the final diameter of my tree forever?

    In the last pic is my Toyama Nishiki trunk, looks like its peeling from the rootball, anything I can do to stop it?

    Please help me, I'll try anything to stop these.
     

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  15. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    I can't recommend anything for sure because I use Copper Sulfate when needed, but I would suggest looking into Lime Sulfur spray. I'm not sure how effective these are when the bacteria is already present, but It would be worth trying IMO. Maybe someone else has another recommendation.

    The trunk has the ability to heal over the dead areas if the disease doesn't spread faster than the tree can heal. There will be a scar but the tree will eventually recover if it is healthy.

    Finally, do you know where your Koto no ito originated? I've been looking all over for that form and have only been able to find the Japanese Komachi being sold as Koto no ito.
     
  16. boloxis

    boloxis Active Member

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    The garden center, where I bought this, order their Japanese maples from Buchholz and Buchholz Nursery.
     
  17. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    Thank you very much.
     
  18. mjh1676

    mjh1676 Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Matt--I don't think that is the form of Koto no ito you are looking for.

    As far the Koto no ito, treat with copper sulfate spray as Matt suggested maybe with a repeat application later in the week and then get it good and dry and seal it up. Might be a little late in the season from Lime sulfer (but if you do, keep it cool and well shaded). I would guess that the vigor that tree has had from the growth practices in the nursery have kept it going for some time as there is quite a bit of scaring and that is not a new infection. Probably drying up in the summer and then back again in the wet months.

    I have had a few plants with lesions like that were I have treated with antibacterial/fungal product and then sealed and by the time the sealer wears off in a few years the lesion is contained and the damage limited to the initial lesion area.

    As another note, you may want to get it planted up a little higher out of the soil and keep the fertilizer away from the trunk. And for future reference, the plant you have is not the plant you want as far as health. The lower area of the trunk and graft union region are always good places to spot existing of future problems. Just don't buy plants with these sorts of problems no matter how badly you want the maple.
     
  19. Serotonin

    Serotonin Member

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    HELP! My Japanese maple bloomed early April. All seemed to be fine. It even seemed to be having a growth spurt. In mid April I noticed some bugs that like to hang around the leaves. They were light brown in color and appeared as if they might be able to fly. I sprayed them with some Sevin. That didn't appear to work either. I sprayed a second application later in the week. Well around the next week, I noticed the leaves started to change color to pinks, etc. I hear this is common of course with Japanese Maples. The leaves never looked as perky though as they did while they were still green (back when they'd first bloomed). This was my first spring seeing the leaves grow in on my tree and last fall was my first fall - I didn't even know the tree was deciduous :-) I hate the fact that I feel so ignorant concerning my tree since I care about the tree so much. This has been a big learning process.
    Well, things seemed to still be well until I went on a short trip from May 5 to May 8. When I got back May 8, almost all the leaves were dead! The tree seemed fine when I left on the 5th! It was not hot here in North Georgia at all, maybe mid-70s. The leaves were on death's door anyway, and despite me watering the tree, the leaves did die, becoming very noticeably dead the following week (mid-May). When the leaves were crispy, I plucked them all out. Now my tree only has like 10 green, healthy leaves on it which appear to be fine. In the past week though I've noticed that the small branches are turning yellow and brown and appear to be dying. The bigger branches are turning a brown color (they were green before). It's as if the brown is starting on the outer limb and working its way in and has stopped right at the trunk on 3 of my major branches. My tree always had some black spots here and there which I thought were normal. And all seemed to be OK with my tree, since it lasted through all last summer and I went on a few vacations back then and my tree was fine even though August. The tree is located in North Georgia and the weather out here has not been terrible yet. The tree has lived in the same spot from April 2009 until now. I have not done anything out of the ordinary, only when I sprayed that Sevin on it 5 weeks prior. I just don't understand what could have happened that could make my tree go downhill so quickly, total leaf loss in 3 days!... I called an arborist to come out and he advised me that the tree was planted a little too deeply and that maybe now the tree's roots have escaped the original rootball area and may be suffocating now in the Georgia clay. When I questioned could it be a disease he was not quite sure. He said I should try replanting and hopefully the tree will bounce back. He gave a 50% survival prognosis. I still am quite concerned and DO NOT want to lose this tree! I don't know if I 100% buy into the Arborist explanation. My mom said maybe the bugs live on the tree but dont hurt it. There seems to be a big mystery area when it comes to Japanese maples. I dont know where to find an expert that can tell me.
    Does anyone know what could be the problem with this tree? Tree is a Toyama Nishiki Japanese maple (was purchased as a size2 in April 2009). Thanks.
    Here are the pics I took today guys. I hope these give a better look... As you can see, most of the tree is still green. Some of the branches are a strange brownish color but they are still quite flexible. None of the treee is brittle at all. I'm so confused at what caused this. Thus far, the "dieback" if that is what it is, has not gotten any worse. I hope that this "illness" or phase has reached its apex and the tree will start to get better.
    The arborist told me to let the tree heal and not cut any dieback, although without cutting dieback, I don't know how the tree will be able to grow any new leaves. ????
    I forgot to ask the guy at the nursery, just to get a second opinion. I'm affraid though that the 'brown' will spread if I don't make a few cuts. So far it's just the twigs and not any major branches. The twigs are half brown, then if I cut a transection, it does appear a bit green on the inside which has me baffled. ?!?!?!?! There seems to still be 'some' life although it looks brown! The brown twigs are also quite flexible and not brittle, so yes I am confused. The trunk of the tree and the major branches are still green, so that gives me a lot of hope. I'm nervously awaiting any new growth.
    I'm doing the 'finger' test as far as watering as well. Yes these guys are quite picky. God forbid my poor baby tree dies! If it does YES I will definitely get a new one for sure. I love this tree. It will be so hard if I end up losing it.
    I ended up re-planting. As we did the digging, I saw where a good deal of the longer roots were going into the clay. In most spots the clay was as hard as a rock, so I could see where the tree was probably being choked by the clay maybe? I replaced all the dirt with new dirt and now thte rootball sits right above ground and I have a good mound/slope around the tree. We'll see what happens.
    I did go back to the nursery where I bought the tree and the worker said that yes these trees can be quite picky. He recommended replanting as well and making sure that I do not overwater. He told me the type of soil I should buy (Monrovia) and the type of fertilizer (some powder stuff called EB Stone Organics Sure Start).
    He advised that since the tree is still primarily green, he give it 75/25 odds. I have my fingers crossed. PLEASE PLEASE TAKE A LOOK AT THESE PICS AND TELL ME WHAT YOU ALL THINK!!! I APPRECIATE IT!When taking a look at the phontos, please keep in mind that the black spots were pretty much always there as well as the split in the trunk. I don't know if I had a problem all along that compounded with another problem and caught up with my tree, etc. Everything was fine until the past month or so...
     

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  20. mjh1676

    mjh1676 Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    It looks like you have a very problematic pseudomonas infection and I wouldn't rule out Verticillium alboatrum given the look of the dead shoots from tips downward. As the wood dies and dries it will be easier to be certain. Sometimes you can trigger a flare of this sort of infection be stressing the tree. If by chance the applications of sevin damaged the leaves (and I have done this with pesticides) it is likely that may have damaged some tender wood and caused the infection to take hold.

    It looks like the tree is pretty extensively infected and I am not sure what course you would take that would leave you with much of a tree. By the time you start removing infected wood from the outside in, you will be left with a trunk. While this might spur some budding lower on the maple, you will still be stuck with the bacterial infection and a severely disfigured maple.

    I wish I had better news. it is not uncommon to lose maples to these sorts of problems around the age of your maple. Heartbreaking for sure.
     
  21. Serotonin

    Serotonin Member

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    mjh, it appears that unfortunately you may be correct. My tree is now almost totally the dark brown color, except for a little green here and there. I would say that it is 98% brown. :-( The brown color started to appear in the trunk out of the middle of nowhere a few days after my original post. This was the warning indicator that something was gravely wrong. I'm sure this means that my tree has or is about to "go on to glory," as they say.
    It's brown with the same gray looking thrush spots on it. <insert sigh here> I could never forgive myself if it was the spritzes of Sevin that triggered this. The Sevin was 3 weeks prior though so I want to say no. The black spots were always on the tree though. Maybe they were waiting to take over - maybe they were the fungus you speak of. I don't know. It's somewhat devastating nonetheless. Went downhill early May and has never recovered. The few leaves that were left are now crispy dead as well. Wasted potential is always hard for me to swallow. I keep thinking of what I could have done better, and I can't help wonder if I introduced whatever this killer is into the environment or if it was already there lying in wait. But I'm sure as you said, it happens quite often to a lot of us at that young age. I guess all I can do at this point is try again and educate myself better on these trees before I re-purchase. I appreciate the info you gave me. Thanks.
     
  22. mixmaster

    mixmaster Member

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    Hi I have recently purchased a tree and planted it in my yard. Obviously I have no experience here. I did use some fertilizer to encourage growth, but my gardener has told me that the tree is diseased and will likely die if we get a cold winter. I'm a little bummed as I was planting this tree in memory of my father who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. (depressingly ironic). I'm not sure of the specific species (subtype) but it's a Japanese maple, so I thought i might start here.

    I'd appreciate any knowledge on what this might be or what to do if there is anything that I can do, or if it's a lost cause? It seemed healthy before i planted it with plenty of leaves. I've read through a few of the threads to try to find out what it might be but I've come up with 'Tight Bark' or verticillium but i'm not sure???

    cheers,
     

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  23. HopelessGardener

    HopelessGardener Member

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    Sorry I can't contribute to diagnosing problems very much, I'm pretty much clueless when it comes to plants :(. I've got problems with two of my maples, with apparently separate issues. The first, a emperor 1, is splitting at some places in the bark as seen in the picture. It was planted 3 weeks ago, and the tips of the leaves are also drying up with some leaves dried up. It may have been getting too much water for 2 weeks (drip everyday) though.

    My other maple is about older than 10 years, and is experiencing some dieback and bark splitting along the whole tree (also in the picture). It did get hit by a whitefly infestation couple months back that disappeared somehow. Anyone have a hunch at what might be wrong?
     

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  24. John Hosie

    John Hosie Active Member

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    It must have been a good 10-15 years ago that I had something that looked somewhat similar on a couple of Bloodgood maples. It is difficult to tell, though, because the pix are not in focus. It started with us noticing some cracks in the bark, but we didn't do anything - figuring it would heal itself. In a very short time - 2-3 months - one died, and the other looked like it was also dying. On closer examination, we found that there was some sort of borer that had gotten under the bark. It had completely girdled the first treee very quickly. The second one took longer, but eventually it died, too. We never saw the bug - just the evidence of it - and the bark around the part that peeled/lifted up scabbed over as you'd expect.

    A radio gardener had suggested it might have to do with the bark being exposed to afternoon sun on a prematurely-hot spring day before leaves had broken, followed by a refreeze. Supposedly this would kill the bark in that section that got too warm under the sun. The cure/prevention for that was supposed to be to whitewash the bark on the sun side, or to wrap it in a white cloth or tape. I never did either, so I don't know if it worked.
     
  25. John Hosie

    John Hosie Active Member

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    I would not lose hope. It is hard to tell what a tree might have as a problem after the leaves fall. I'd let it be - avoid watering for now unless you have a real drought - and see what it is like in the spring. Give it a good mulching, though, to protect the roots.
     

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