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Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by keithdirt, Jan 24, 2005.
I was going to try one again but it arrived dried up = bummer
Thanks for the update, Fred. All my conifers wintered well....despite the lowest mean February temperature on record. My irrigation water was turned on April 15. Everything needed a quick drink as our winter was also dry and my soil is “well drained”. I have had a problem with “split bark” on my Japanese maples and another one has this problem now. Branches die back and have to be removed. Rather ruins the shape of the tree. I am not sure what causes the problem. Happy Spring!
Japanese Maple split bark in landscape trees is due to thin bark and occurs on the sunny side of the tree when sap flows up the trunk during a warm period and freezes overnight. It's very common and another reason why placement of JM is pivotal, summer and winter. A tree that is perfectly happy with shade cast by overstory trees in summertime can have too much sun before that canopy does its job in spring that brings splitting bark once in awhile.
Michigander, I agree with your analysis of “split bark” on my jm’s. Not much I can do about it. Seems to be more prevalent on species trees than other cultivars. Splitting bark seemed to occur in fall rather than spring. I am very pleased with our “native” variety of Jm, Acer circinatum, or vine maple. Bullet proof. Would it survive in the Far East?
I don't know anything about your variety which is not hardy here in 6b. (Or, at least I've never seen one.)
I thought I'd provide another update on my Hazel Smith variety of Giant Sequoias. They all made it through the winter. Earlier I thought I'd lost one but it's sprouting out nicely now. It was located on the end and corner of my windbreak where it just really caught the wind when we had that polar outbreak.
However, I have begun to notice a new problem with Hazel Smith. The specimens I have are having a difficult time establishing a leader. New growth will shoot skyward a few inches then "flop over". I keep trying to stake them up as the best I can but then we they grow some more, they just do it again. I can only stake them for so long until it becomes no longer practical.
I wonder where the grafts came from? Could they have been taken from a lower branch or something? I might succeed in raising Sequoias here but I might just end up with a large bush rather than a nice looking tree.
Fred M. Cain,
My experience with Seqoiadendron, species and Hazel Smith, is that they frequently lose leaders and quickly develop new ones. I speculate that birds perched on the leader damage it. I see a bird right now bending the leader 90 degrees.
I, too, have an awful lot of problems with birds. But in the case of the Hazel Smiths, I'm not sure that's bird damage. For one thing, the trees are still too small and close to the ground to attract birds. There are also other young conifers surrounding the Hazel Smiths that are not having that issue.
However, birds can be a problem. I remember years ago I had planted an abies concolor out by the mailbox. One spring it developed this magnificent leader that was about 18" (approx 36 - 40 cm) long. I thought to myself "WOW! This is gonna be a great tree!". Then one day I went out to fetch the mail and right in front of my eyes, a bold robin swooped down from out of nowhere, grabbed that leader with its bill and ripped it right off like it was only a strand of hair. That was about the same time I decided that I don't like robins. They steal my cherries off of my cherry trees too!
I don't know how many times I have seen critters of all stripes "damaging" my stuff. Rabbits biting off a rose shoot, then just meandering on down the line as though that was a taste-test, and it failed. I once watched out of my bathroom window while a squirrel 5 feet away at eye level trotted out on a limb to a vertical twig, bit it off and used the remaining sharp stump for a toothpick. This was a episode that took about 2 minutes, end-to-end, so there nothing left to the imagination. I thought at the time that these animals are a lot more sophisticated than I had ever imagined...