these branches really dead?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by copperbeech, May 20, 2013.

  1. copperbeech

    copperbeech Active Member 10 Years

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    I purchased a "GREEN FILIGREE LACE" this past March. At the time there no buds but it seemed apparent which branches were alive i.e. tinged with red (see picture) and which were dead i.e. they were very grey. I put the tree in the ground about 4 weeks ago and it is now leafed out (see picture). But there are several of what I think are alive branches but are still leafless and have no leaf buds :(. Do I bite the bullet and just prune back these many branches or are there reasons to wait?
     

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    Last edited: May 20, 2013
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    No leaves now = liable to be seen as dead later.
     
  3. Daniel Otis

    Daniel Otis Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I see the same thing every year--most branches leaf out normally, but a few, generally small ones, do not, and I always wonder if I should prune them off or whether they may leaf out later. Sometimes I leave them, and I believe a few do sometimes slowly come into leaf--the buds formed last fall have died, and the incipient buds need more time to develop. But in general, I agree with Ron B--they aren't likely to become good strong branches, and you won't lose much by removing them sooner rather than later.

    It's interesting--some trees that I cleared of all dead twigs during the winter now have more dead twigs, which makes me think that spring is one of the times that trees "decide" which branches should be let go, to better serve those that have more promise.
     
  4. copperbeech

    copperbeech Active Member 10 Years

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    Here is this "GREEN FILIGREE LACE" now fully leafed out. I removed lots of 'dead' branches so it is looking a bit skinny; a bit thin. The bottom healthy branches are actually too low as they dip right into the soil :( but I hesitate to remove them given the lack of body in this tree. If I pruned them away it will change the shape dramatically. What do you think?

    This will be its first season in my garden. I hope it gets some new growth as it can't afford to lose any/many branches come next spring.
     

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  5. rufretic

    rufretic Active Member

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    I love the look of that tree even if it is a little thin. I wouldn't prune anything this year just to give it the best chance to establish itself. Next year you could always remove the lower branches if you want it to have more of a standard trunk look. I think it looks good just the way it is but I don't think it would look bad if if you took out the lower branches. I wish I could find a nice tall Filgree like yours, I've only found small ones so far. I'm going to keep looking for a larger one because I've read it's a very slow grower. You got a good find!
     
  6. copperbeech

    copperbeech Active Member 10 Years

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    Good advice 'rufretic'. I will leave well enough alone and take a look next spring to see what's what.
     
  7. 17 Maples

    17 Maples Active Member

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    just a quick note to say if the branchlets turn white/grey or black then you know they should be taken out.
     
  8. copperbeech

    copperbeech Active Member 10 Years

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    UPDATE

    Here is this same first year Green Filigree 5 months later:
     

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  9. copperbeech

    copperbeech Active Member 10 Years

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    UPDATE:

    The bottom branches have leafed out just fine this month but nothing from any of the remaining upper branches even though they did/do seem to be alive if looking at the bark colour! I am so disappointed.

    (IF they are all dead it would appear that these lower branches made it through just fine because they were completely encased in insulating snow of this memorable winter for almost all the winter).
     

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  10. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Give it at least another month to see if anything happens on the upper branches. Might just be the buds that were killed if the branches look ok.
     
  11. copperbeech

    copperbeech Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks for the reply 'maf'. So if the branches are alive but the buds dead, it will rebud and subsequently releaf this season?
     
  12. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    If the bark looks OK, maybe some buds have survived, but I'd check if the tape shown on the picture is not biting a bit into the bark, slowing the circulmatyion of the sap.

    If it is, I'd just put it a bit higher.

    PS: circulation, of course, but seeing my typo was so funny, I've left the original version ;-)
     

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  13. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Yes, there are tiny "reserve buds" (for want of a better description, there must be a proper name) designed to take over if the first set fail. These are relatively undeveloped when compared to the main buds, more like a budding point than an actual bud, so have more chance of surviving extreme cold. From what I can tell from the pictures the bark does look alive which is obviously a good sign.

    Alain makes a good point about the tie. I would be inclined to remove the tie and cane completely. Looking closer, I also noticed a couple of small areas low down that seem to be missing bark; worth having a closer look at what is going on here too.
     
  14. Aisya

    Aisya Member

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    Good call, well spotted Alain about the tape,

    My Orange Dream has leafless branches too, rest of it is beautiful.
     

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  15. copperbeech

    copperbeech Active Member 10 Years

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    UPDATE:

    We have had a wonderful spring weather wise and perennials and trees are thriving. But the above GFLace looks the same ie the same very bottom branches are well leafed but still not a one above! And yet scratching these branches they show green...show life? Given we are nearing the end of June I would imagine it is very unlikely that leaves will come. Is it possible that they could come next year? I am just deciding how to proceed ie leave it as is or replace it now.
     
  16. copperbeech

    copperbeech Active Member 10 Years

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    The nursery I had purchased it from was agreeable to replacing it under their 2 year warranty. I am willing to try again. I will provide some sort of protection come this fall. Here is what I got today:
     

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  17. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Wow!

    Definitely more serious than a French nursery that I got sick trees from, never admitted it, and is still the bigget profit-making spzcialist here in France.

    Some people have ethics.
     
  18. copperbeech

    copperbeech Active Member 10 Years

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    UPDATE:

    I removed the dead Filigree Lace. I was shocked at how rooted this plant was after only 1 year. It was not trivial to remove.
    (I had added "volcanic rock dust" + Mycorrhizal fungi to the hole last time).

    Just like the previous tree this new one was very much root bound.

    After removing the wooden container here is the "ball". (I had to cut out the wooden plank base as it was a good couple of inches up into the root ball.

    Here it is now in the ground. I love this variety
     

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