my deodar cedar has a strange problem...

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by bcampbell1024, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. bcampbell1024

    bcampbell1024 Member

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    Location:
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    This tree is about 50 years old, stands about 40 feet tall and has a trunk diameter of about 5 feet. This tree has some historical value tied to my heritage home. It has developed a problem where the clumps of new needles this tree sprouts, come out, but stay tightly stuck to each other. The result is that branches take on a very sparse and dead look as much of the green foliage is gone. It has this problem on a branch to branch basis, some branches are completely healthy, and the next branch is completely affected by the clumping needle problem. At this moment, there are more impacted branches than healthy ones, and each year the number of healthy ones declines.

    I have asked a number of arborists about this condition with no luck. I would sincerely appreciate any help. I have attached two pictures to this message. One shows a healthy branch and one impacted by this problem. The second picture shows my tree and illustrates how the problem is spreading.

    Regards,

    Bob
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Notice that the abnormal foliage is partly brown, as though it is a bug or fungus.
     
  3. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    How long have you been seeing these symptoms?
    It looks more like insect damage to me but may
    be a combination of factors that is causing this
    to happen. Where the needle bundles are stuck
    together, are there any sap deposits giving the
    needles a sticky feel to the touch? On the first
    photo with the infected limb, did the little dark
    colored specks on the paper fall off from that
    afflicted limb? Does the trunk of this tree show
    any wetness, sap deposits or any unusual or
    uncharacteristic discoloration?

    Have you had someone from your ministry come
    out and look at this tree? If so, what did they say
    about it? Are there any other Deodar Cedars or
    Pines nearby affected like or similar to your tree?
    Can you describe your soil type and have you ever
    applied any sand on top of or into the soil at any
    time in the last 5-10 years or so?

    Jim
     
  4. bcampbell1024

    bcampbell1024 Member

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    Mr. Shep,

    Thank-you for taking the time to consider this problem.

    I have noticed the problem for about the last five years.

    The needle bundles are very tightly stuck together and difficult to pry apart. That being said, they are not full of or covered with sap.

    I obtained another sample and tried to see if bits of black fell off, they did not. There are no obvious signs of bugs etc.

    The trunk of the tree does not show any wetness, discolouration or excessive flows of sap.

    Two of my neighbours have the same tree and both trees appear healthy.

    The soil is this area is quite sandy and well drained.

    I have not placed any sand on or near the tree base.


    I hope these responses answer your questions. I have not had any Ministry people look at this problem. I was not aware that there was any resource available to me in this area. Is this a Provincial resource?

    Thanks again for your consideration,

    Regards,

    Bob Campbell
     
  5. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Location:
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    I've never seen anything like this. Seems it is spreading, so it could potentially be serious. Send or take a sample to:

    Forestry Commission
    Forest Research Station
    Alice Holt Lodge
    Farnham
    Surrey GU10 4LH

    Website:
    http://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/fr/INFD-5UWHXL

    Addenum:
    Just thought I'd better check - are you in Surrey, UK, or Surrey, Canada?
    If the latter, my info is no use to you
     
  6. Daniel Mosquin

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

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    Looks like Bob is in Surrey, BC.
     
  7. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Daniel: Can Bob call someone at the Ministry to
    come out and look at this tree or does Bob have
    to go to them?

    Bob: If they will come out have them look for
    nematodes in the roots. Also, have them check
    for Deodar Weevils in the affected limbs. My
    first thought when I saw the second photo was
    that this tree might be in decline due to
    nematodes that can attack Deodar Cedars. We
    have had problems here with certain Gardenias,
    as well as certain Azaleas and other ornamental
    plants that are affected right now with nematodes
    that are prevalent in many of our sandy soils here
    in the San Joaquin Valley.

    The Deodar Weevil is a secondary invader which
    means they will come in after the tree has already
    been weakened by something else such as disease
    or another insect that has invaded. The "look" of
    the damage to the limbs does seem right for that
    insect but the needle bundles sticking together is
    what has me confused. There is more going on
    than the needles sticking together in this tree
    as evidenced by the needle cast and texture of
    the young shoot to the left of the main twig and
    the irregular condition of the twig itself as shown
    in the first photo. Perhaps I am seeing things
    that are not there.

    Jim
     
  8. Daniel Mosquin

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

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    I've asked Douglas to step in and comment - he'll know what the best course of action is. Actually, now that I think about it, I recall going with Douglas to Abbotsford to drop off a few pest problems a couple years ago.

    Aha, found it:

    BC Plant Diagnostic Laboratory which offers a fee-for-diagnosis service.
     
  9. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    You guys can stay up there, we don't need anyone going around leaving pest problems down here. We have plenty already.

    By now, I'd think the nurserymen and gardeners would gang up on you when they saw you coming.
     
  10. Ralph Walton

    Ralph Walton Active Member 10 Years

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    I believe Surrey Nurseries has taken over the contract propagation of conifers from the Green Trees (govt) nursery also in Surrey. They may have some interest and/or expertise you can tap. Call ahead! Showing up with a diseased sample may cause some adverse reaction!
    Ralph
     
  11. bcampbell1024

    bcampbell1024 Member

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    Gentlemen, (Ron, Daniel, Mr. Shep, Michael, Ralph)

    Thank-you for some very good ideas! Sorry, I live in Surrey B.C., not the UK, I would be happy to use this tree as an excuse for a British visit, but the spousal unit may object... (and I will stay away from WA!!)

    I will contact both Surrey Nurseries and the B.C. Plant Diagnostic lab to see if they can identify the problem. I will post any information I obtain on this board.

    Thanks again everyone! Mr. Shep, thanks for your detailed response.

    Regards,

    Bob Campbell
     
  12. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Bob, see what you can find out as it does look like you
    might either have nematodes or a root borer of some
    kind working. The distressed look to the tree or plant
    as it progresses over time is what we look for in feeling
    there is nematode damage. Where we've seen it on
    Conifers the tree will not turn brown much but when the
    tree gives up it will turn an allover golden color and then
    brown all at once.

    We do not know the history of your tree as to what
    may have prompted this condition. I feel it would
    be better to have a specialist or a series of them
    come out and look at the nearby vegetation, establish
    whether there is some insect damage to some of the
    branches and young twigs, see if the roots are growing
    into a cesspool or leach lines like some of them can for
    us here when we have our own wells and septic tanks
    in the rural areas and check out the condition of the
    roots as best as they can.

    I am not finding out online what is causing the needles
    to stick together. I am not so sure the needles sticking
    together is not a physiological disorder rather than an
    insect caused problem. No way to know until we open
    up some of the needles and take a good look see to see
    what is going on there. You may just be enduring the
    effects of a disorder that is causing all of this so the
    pest issue is not directed at you or anyone in particular
    in British Columbia but was probably more so meant to
    me and I just shrugged it off as another talk behind my
    back day at the office.

    If it is determined that you have nematodes then
    send me a private message and I'll tell you of a
    means to deal with them but I want it understood
    you are to tell no one else. I will take a page right
    out of Dr. John Radewald's "book", my hero in the
    field of Nematology, in dealing with nematodes by
    non chemical means which an article he wrote got
    him in hot water years ago when he learned of a
    method to suppress and to some extent control
    nematodes without using a soil fumigant to do it.
    Let's hope that I am dead wrong about your tree
    possibly having nematodes.

    Let us know what you find out as this big critter
    pest on the south side of town would like to know.

    Best regards,

    Jim
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2005
  13. nejatbilge

    nejatbilge Member

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    Location:
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    Dear Bob,

    I would like to know whether you have found a solution to your cedar's problem. I live in Istanbul and have 5 cedars in my garden. 3 years ago, I had exactly the same problem with one of my cedars.( very typical and easy to match from the photo) I thought that it wasn't an major problem at that time but now the tree got worse.
    I would appreciate if you have succeeded to survive the tree.

    Thanks and regards

    Nejat
     

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