One branch is dropping perfectly healthy leaves

Discussion in 'Maples' started by maplesmagpie, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. maplesmagpie

    maplesmagpie Active Member

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    Location:
    Zone 5b, along Lake Michigan in WI
    My Tsukushigata has one branch that lost its leaves this week. I went and looked, and they were all laying on the ground under the branch, perfectly intact and healthy.

    At first I thought my kids had stripped them, but when I touched a few remaining leaves on the branch and just barely bent them backward, they fell off easily. The leaves on the new growth are staying put, but everything else on that branch (about 2' with many side branches and smaller branches) is gone.

    The rest of the tree, and the leaves that fell, look perfectly healthy.

    Has anyone had this happen? It's so strange--
     
  2. TheScarletPrince

    TheScarletPrince Member

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    Texas, Zone 7b, US
    Have you searched anything up on the net about said subject?
    Are there any black spots or visible markings/etc on the specific branch? Maybe a disease or something and removal would be key.
    Unknown at the moment, need more information! Has it been dry? General conditions and situation please, in detail! :)
     
  3. maplesmagpie

    maplesmagpie Active Member

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    Location:
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    It has not been dry. We live near a Great Lake, so the temps are always moderated. Last week saw our first temps in the 90s, but that's usually no big deal. We've been getting regular rain, and I water in between. Hydrangeas and ferns nearby, both indicators of low water, have never once wilted.

    The plant looks perfectly, perfectly healthy. Not a spot. Barely a bug bite. The rest of the tree looks glorious.

    ...I did a UBC search, but no-- didn't come up with anything.

    It's not the Maple Petiole Borer, because the leaves are dropping with their petioles intact and the proper color (http://www.courierpress.com/lifesty...aplan/dont-be-alarmed-by-falling-maple-leaves)
     
  4. TheScarletPrince

    TheScarletPrince Member

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    I meant a search on the whole net. :)
    I found this as a first result:
    "Answer: Leaf drop is a frustrating problem because it's so hard to diagnose and correct ... and it may not even be a problem at all! Leaf drop is a normal condition of growth for many plants, whose lower leaves gradually die and fall off. If, however, you suddenly lose a lot of leaves at once, or you start losing healthy green leaves, then you might have one of the following problems:

    Shock. This is the most common cause of leaf drop, but it can be the hardest to correct. In my experience, shock is most often caused by a sudden change in conditions. This can mean fluctuations in temperature, light, or watering habits. Newly acquired plants, for instance, often go into shock as they transition from the perfect conditions of a greenhouse to less-than-ideal home conditions. The same is true for newly repotted or divided plants. Sadly, there's not much you can do about shock, other than hope the plant survives.
    Too cold. If the plant is exposed to cold drafts, many tropical plants will begin to drop healthy leaves.
    Physical damage. Plants that are in high-traffic areas or are frequently brushed will sometimes drop leaves inexplicably. Pets and children rubbing plants can cause leaf drop.
    Pests. Certain pests, like mealybugs, can cause leaf drop. Check fallen leaves carefully for telltale signs of infestation. If you see pests, treat the plant and the leaf-drop should stop. "
    http://houseplants.about.com/od/diseases/f/FallingLeaves.htm

    "Over watering – If your lemon tree is dropping leaves, another common reason may be over watering. When roots of the tree sit in water, they have a tendency to develop root rot, which in turn results in the lemon tree dropping leaves. Mulch around the root area, minimize irrigation, plant in well draining soil and keep grass away from the base of the tree to avoid root rot and its accompanying problems."
    http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/fruits/lemons/lemon-tree-leaf-drop.htm

    If it has been raining, stop watering. :) Wait until dry to water.
     
  5. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi there,

    Well it doesn't sound like over/under watering to me and I think Maplesmagpie is probably experienced enough to know what that looks like. It's in a pot right? So you can check that the normal moisture cycle is being observed.

    In answer to your question, I've never had it happen in just the way you describe, with finding healthy looking leaves on the ground. I'd be looking closely at the area where the new buds might be showing.

    In any case if it buds I'd not be that worried given there's nothing I can do anyway... ;) Hope it doesn't escalate!

    -E
     
  6. maplesmagpie

    maplesmagpie Active Member

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    It's actually in the ground, and yes-- moisture levels have stayed in a good range all summer. We also live in a very mild climate, and have been unaffected by the heat waves affecting the rest of the US.

    When the sun is lower I'll try to get some good photos of the area, including the buds.

    And yes-- fingers crossed it doesn't escalate!
     
  7. Houzi

    Houzi Active Member 10 Years

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    I've never seen this happen on my trees including Tsukusigata but my AS Aureum has some very annoying habits which may or may not be related.
    Although it's known for disliking too much sun it will very rapidly drop leaves and completely shut down branches which are too shaded.Sometimes some leaves look perfect,some of them wither before dropping.At the other extreme,this year the top of the plant got a lot of sun colouring the leaves like Autumn Moon as usual.However this year it has decided to shut those branches down too which is annoying.I'm not convinced this is what's happening with your plant but perhaps it's something to keep in mind.
     
  8. maplesmagpie

    maplesmagpie Active Member

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    Location:
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    "Shut down branches" seems to be a perfect description of what's going on...I just wish I knew why. :)

    Here are some photos.

    As you can see, the rest of the tree is doing great. So was this branch until last week. I see no signs of disease or pests, no injury or bark issues on the branch or trunk. It's a mystery.

    The buds are tiny (tiny!) but they're there. We'll see what happens through the rest of the summer.
     

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  9. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    Magpie, sent you a message on FB, don't know if you got it... Have you checked with Diana to see if she has any ideas as to what's going on? At least - thus far anyway - it doesn't appear that the branches themselves are dying with the tiny buds. Hopefully it bounces back through the summer.
     
  10. maplesmagpie

    maplesmagpie Active Member

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    Location:
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    Hi! I did get it, and responded. I bought the tree from Conifer Kingdom, so I didn't call Diana. I'll do so if the problem (?) intensifies and I can't figure out what's happening. I need to check in anyway and see if she found a tree I've been wanting. ;)
     

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