Monkey Puzzle Issue

Discussion in 'Araucariaceae' started by SLR2009, May 14, 2018.

  1. SLR2009

    SLR2009 Active Member

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    Hi, I had a 5 ft Monkey Puzzle delivered from a local nursery. When the guy was putting the tree onto the hand truck he was pulling on the trunk. Now that I look at it when I pull on the trunk it is loose from the root ball. The tree's field grown (B & B) and was placed into a container. There is some browning on the some of the branches. Do you think the tree's going to die or is it okay? I have a 3 month warranty. Should I plant it or wait awhile?

    Any help is greatly appreciated
     

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  2. SLR2009

    SLR2009 Active Member

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    Well I removed it from the pot to plant and all the clay fell off. There's just a few roots. I planted it. Do you think the tree will live?
     
  3. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Renowned Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Need someone with experience as to what the root balls should look like to comment. @Michael F is the usual expert, but he's been away for a couple weeks now.
     
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  4. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Plant and hope for the best; keep the foliage sprayed with water to reduce stress is the best I can suggest. How is it looking now 3 weeks on?
     
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  5. SLR2009

    SLR2009 Active Member

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    Thanks. I planted the Monkey Puzzle Tree a week and a half ago. I don't think the browning has worsened really, maybe a little. The top of the tree has bent to a different position. Do you think the tree's putting out new growth? What month do Monkey Puzzle's put out new growth? I gave it a dose of superthrive a few times before I planted it and once after.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
  6. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Looks fine to me! Hold off on the superthrive - that doesn't really help newly planted trees, and can harm them if the nutrient conentration gets high enough to hinder water uptake.

    It'd normally be putting on new growth now, but it'll be concentrating on re-growing its roots and may well delay shoot growth while it is 'busy' doing this.
     
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  7. SLR2009

    SLR2009 Active Member

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    I appreciate the help. Should I water it when the soil dries? I heard that Monkey Puzzles are susceptible to root rot. My soil is mostly sand.
     
  8. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yes, but only when it is dry. Sand helps here, as permanently soggy conditions encourage root rot fungi.
     
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  9. SLR2009

    SLR2009 Active Member

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    A couple branches on the bottom have turned brown. Thoughts?
     

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  10. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    That's not a problem - they're expendable branches in the shade that would die off naturally anyway before long. If dieback progresses much further up soon, then you have problems.
     
  11. SLR2009

    SLR2009 Active Member

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    Thanks for the help.
    Several leaves are dark brown and on 1 or 2 branches the leaves are slightly brown. The browning might have worsened a little. Do you think it's sunburn or stress from lack of roots? The Monkey Puzzle hasn't put out any new growth. You think it's just working on growing new roots and it will put on new growth next year? I haven't needed to water it yet. We've had enough rain.
     

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  12. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Still looks fine to me, so long as that browning is on the lower branches.
     
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  13. SLR2009

    SLR2009 Active Member

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    I appreciate the help. There is a few brown leaves on some of the upper branches of the tree. Is this a cause for concern?
     

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  14. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I'd not be worried by it, very minor.
     
  15. SLR2009

    SLR2009 Active Member

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    Update: since I planted it the branches just below the very top are drooping. You can can compare. The first photo is when I first planted it and the second photo was just taken where you can see the branches drooping. Is that normal? Thanks
    IMG_9341.JPG IMG_7338.JPG
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
  16. Margot

    Margot Active Member

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    You are obviously very worried about the damage this tree may have suffered during delivery. Personally, I would have returned it immediately and let the nursery deal with reviving it. Now, it looks like the 3-month warranty may have expired and you are stuck for better or worse.

    To be proactive at this point, I'd take a transcript of the exchanges on this thread plus photos to the nursery where you bought it and explain the lengths to which you have gone to save the tree. If, a year from now, the tree has expired, you would be able to prove you did everything you could to help it overcome problems you did not cause.

    Having said all that, the tree looks pretty healthy in your photos.
     
  17. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I know so little about trees, but it looks good to me. The very top looks fatter - that would be new growth. And it looks like there is some new growth on the tier below the one you're worried about.

    I wonder about those supports. I read somewhere that trees should be allowed to develop their own support system, not be propped up so that they don't have to do that work. Is there anyone reading this who know something about that?
     
  18. Margot

    Margot Active Member

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    There are many things to consider before deciding to stake a newly-planted tree and lots of websites that offer advice about when and how to do so. Ordinarily, it is not a good idea because it prevents the tree from forming lignin that provides strength to the trunk.

    In the case of the Monkey Puzzle tree under discussion in this thread, which suffered damage upon delivery that loosened the trunk from the root ball, it would seem to be a very good strategy to ensure the root has an opportunity to establish because, when the root ball is small in proportion to the height of the tree, it won’t be able to provide adequate support.

    From what I see in the photos, the 'stakes' will prevent the top growth of the tree from moving too much or being blown over while, at the same time, allow enough movement for lignin to develop. The supports should not need to be provided for more than a year or two.
     
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  19. SLR2009

    SLR2009 Active Member

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    Thanks. I just felt the soil around the Monkey Puzzle and it feels dry. It just rained 5 days ago so I didn't think it would dry that fast. Do you think it needs water or has it been getting too much? I haven't watered it once yet.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
  20. Margot

    Margot Active Member

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    The soil under a newly-planted tree like your Monkey Puzzle tree should not be allowed to dry out during the year or so it takes to become established. Slow watering that allows the water to be absorbed gradually throughout the entire root ball is the goal; be sure not to overwater either. What I sometimes do for new plants is to direct the nozzle on a hose to release a very fine spray over the root zone for an hour or so every day. Eventually, new roots should venture out into the soil, giving the tree more stability (no more stakes) and ability to absorb moisture and nutrients from a larger area.
     
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  21. SLR2009

    SLR2009 Active Member

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    Thanks for your help. I built a mulch berm around it and I watered it for 2 hours on a slow drip. Do you think the top branches will go back up on their own? Do Monkey Puzzles put on new growth in September?
     
  22. Margot

    Margot Active Member

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    Even if the current top branches do not angle up, new branches that grow next year and thereafter will conform to the normal habit for the tree. Within a few years, it won't matter if the branches that are on top in 2018 tilt up or not. The most important thing is that the tree is healthy.

    Most trees do not put on new growth at the end of the season. Yours, being new, may be stimulated to do so but I don't think that will be typical going forward.
     
  23. SLR2009

    SLR2009 Active Member

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    I just noticed that the top new growth at the top of the tree has some slight browning. Also another branch at the bottom of the tree turned brown which I removed. The temperature's been in the mid 80's and low 90's every day. What do you think?
     

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    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
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  24. SLR2009

    SLR2009 Active Member

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    A little brown is now a big area of brown on the trunk of the Monkey Puzzle. Also the browning on one of the lower branches has worsened.
     

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  25. Margot

    Margot Active Member

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    The browning in your latest photos looks more concerning to me than in the previous ones and may or may not be from the same cause. Have you shown your photos to the garden centre where you bought the tree? Even though the warranty period is well past, they may have some advice or reassurance to offer. You might even cut off the branch we see in your second picture and bring it in to show them. I would suggest cutting it back a couple of inches into the healthy-looking leaves. It would be interesting to see what the cross-section of the branch looks like.
     

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