Japanese Maple Branch Dying (Tree for that Matter)

Discussion in 'Maples' started by thompsdw, Aug 6, 2006.

  1. thompsdw

    thompsdw Member

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    Location:
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    We found several leaves that had some type of worm, so we sprayed the tree with insectacide. The tree continues to get worse and seems to be dying by the branch. It doesn't seem to stop. There were no trees in this location previously (new home) and Scott's red bark mulch was used as a weed stop with barrier. The tree has been watered well.

    Is this a case of verticillium wilt? I have read about it here, but cannot draw a conclusion.
     

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  2. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    First of all, where is P...burg? That would help a lot. Watering a sick maple 'well' is not necessarily the best route to go, and the fewer leaves it has, the less it will need. Full sun may be a big problem, as Japanese maples anyway should be in light shade. If you can either call in an arborist (tree doctor) to get a good look at what's happening, or take a sample not just of the dead foliage, but of an active (worms and all) area of trouble to your nearest agri. extension office they could help too.
     
  3. schusch

    schusch Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    You might also want to take a look at the bark, look for discolorations, darker areas, lighter areas, split bark, etc, or take a picture of the bark and post it. If you look at previous posts here of the last month or so, you'll find discussions of visual symptoms on the bark - all this can give you clues to work with. (The insecticide, if oil based, can shrivel up your leaves - but I doubt this is what we see here. Too much water, too much sun is not good, as Rima says.)
     
  4. thompsdw

    thompsdw Member

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    Parkersburg is in Western (on Ohio river) central West Virginia. The bark on the branches that are dying seem darker in color (deep burgundy or light black). The tree is in an area where it would see 1/2 day sun (morning sun). It would not see the heat of the afternoon sun.

    Here are some pictures...........
     

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  5. thompsdw

    thompsdw Member

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    Anyone???? I am trying to make a quick decision on pruning the dead branches. Please advise ..............
     
  6. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    Why the rush to prune? It won't help the tree as it's a bad time of year to be doing it.
     
  7. Laurie

    Laurie Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    The following are links to articles about verticillium wilt, which include a couple of photographs of a cross-section of an affected twig, as well as a side view when the bark is scraped on an affected branch.
    http://counties.cce.cornell.edu/Wyoming/agriculture/resources/ipd/diseases_maples.htm.

    http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/3000/3053.html.
    http://s142412519.onlinehome.us/uw/pdfs/A2537.PDF.
    However, the tree may not show these signs, when you cut a twig at the end of the affected branch; you may have to continue to cut lower to see this pattern. When you see these symptoms, it would be advisable to take a sample to your local extension office for confirmation. http://www.wvu.edu/%7Eexten/depts/county.htm. Remember to disinfect your pruning shears after this procedure! If you do have verticillium wilt, as is suggested by the discoloration of the bark, symptoms in a particular branch, and sudden leaf loss, then it is advisable to remove the affected branches. Again, remember to disinfect your pruning shears! Apparently aftercare recommendations may vary, but keep the tree watered and lightly fertilized to keep up its health to fight off this disease.




     
  8. schusch

    schusch Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I'd prune any branches that are dead. They can invite disease.

    Besides the insecticide, which could have damaged the leaves if it is oil based (I know this from experience), you have other types of stress (overwatering, underwatering - both can be a result of the type of soil, and your planting method - tree planted too deep, overfertilization, heat stress) that could have hit the tree (potentially causing disease already present in the tree to take over - you will see cases of this in some of the threads here). This can unfortunately lead to the demise of the tree.
    I'd cut the dead branches, and water adequately. If you are dealing with a disease I'd take Laurie's advice and see whether you can find an expert to help you with it - ask the person who sold you the tree. If they know what they are doing, they might be able to help. Various threads on this forum can acquaint you with some of the issues, so you know more what to do, and help with getting the right kind of help.
    Schusch
    PS: the use of flash in your pics makes it tough to make out obvious signs of disease. LooK for different colors, darker areas, bands/stripes of different color, lesions, etc.
     
  9. momiji

    momiji Member

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    Location:
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    My Japanese maple tree, 3 feet tall, is also dying except only one small branch still have a live leaves on it. Did you find out the soution or is it Verticillium Wilt?
     

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