Identification: My maple has white fuzz?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by t8kingitall, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. t8kingitall

    t8kingitall Member

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    Hello, can someone please help me to identify what this white substance is growing on my maple tree? I've tried to look through the forum but don't think it looks like any of the other pictures posted.

    Truthfully I'm not even sure what kind of maple tree it is because I planted it from a wayward seed I found on my patio one day and didn't even know what it would grow into. I planted about 3 months ago and it seems to be growing nicely in the self watering pot it's in but recently when I moved apartments about a month ago it began to grow this strange white fuzz all over it. I tried going to the gardening center at Walmart but those people don't really seem to know what they're talking about.

    I'm not really a gardener myself but I've fallen in love with my little maple tree and would be crushed to find out this was incurable so any help that anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
     

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  2. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    It looks to me like just some kind of ordinary mold, mostly a cosmetic thing, not a serious disease. Try just wiping it off with a damp cloth.

    My concern here would be the growing conditions -- the pot and the place where you've got it. The appearance of mold suggests excessive dampness, not enough sun or air circulation. You're not trying to grow this indoors, are you?

    I worry too about the idea of a self-watering pot. You want to avoid the soil staying saturated with water -- this can lead to all kinds of root problems that will kill the young tree. There seems to be some yellowing of the lower leaves, which could also be a sign of overwatering.

    Growing maples -- which are naturally forest plants -- in pots can be tricky. You want to give them some semblance of their natural growing conditions. The planting medium should be free-draining -- think of the loose texture of woodland soil -- but shouldn't be allowed to dry out completely for very long. Nor should it stay wet for very long. And the more sun and wind, the better (without burning or desiccating the leaves). It's all about balance and you kind of have to develop a feel for it.
     
  3. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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  4. t8kingitall

    t8kingitall Member

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    Thank you so much for helping me! Does that mean this really is a maple tree? Can you tell from the pictures what kind of maple it is?

    I admit I was growing it indoors next to an open window. I did as you suggested and the white stuff came off easily with a damp cloth so I'm happy to see the plant isn't dying! I wasn't sure if the yellowing of the leaves had to do with the fuzz but now that you suggest it may be over watered I can see what you mean.

    Do you think that if I moved it to a large self draining terracotta pot and placed it on my deck that would be better? It gets good sunshine and wind there so is that good? Is there any kind of fertilizer I could by to ensure it grows healthy? There are no real leafy trees where I'm originally from in Alberta so I confess I'm ignorant to their needs so again any assistance would be appreciated.

    Thank you for your advice so far!
     
  5. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    It's a field maple: Acer campestre. The mold is (I guess) powdery mildew. It doesn't like a lot of water, and is probably getting too much at the moment. (A. campestre is prone to mildew however, from too much or too little water, but it's almost never serious.) A self watering pot is a bad idea. Quick draining, let it go dry, don't fertilize, keep outside. Can deal with direct sun. Will do best in the ground, in a pot you ought root prune every once in a while.

    I'm sure it will be fine, looks like a nice little tree. That will get big some day! ;)

    -E
     
  6. t8kingitall

    t8kingitall Member

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    Wow a field Maple! thanks so much for all your help! He's such a handsome little tree that I really took a liking to him and it was crushing to think he might be sick! I'm always joking with my sister about how he's like a child to me because I "created" him from seed so I'd never forgive myself if he didn't make it :) I swear I'll do everything you've told me to so that he can grow strong and healthy and I promise as soon as I can find the perfect home for him I will put him in the ground. Thank you again so much you guys you've really made my day!

    -E
     

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