What is 'normal' when losing maples

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Gomero, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,376
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Southwest France
    One can read a lot of posts where people talk about losing too many maples. I am sure many of us have gone through that and may think: ok, this is the price to pay for being addicted to maples, it's 'normal'. But, is it?

    What could be normal loss for someone may turn out to be unacceptable for someone else.
    From my exchanges with professional growers (in Europe) I have understood that, they consider ‘normal’, losses ranging from 5 to 15% for up to 3 year old grafts (evidently some cultivars having worse scores than others).

    For weekend gardeners like myself, ‘normal’ is anybody’s guess since there are so many variables. Nonetheless I am sure that many of us would like to know if our losses are normal or not, which may indicate that some improvement in the cultural conditions (or supplier) may be indicated. Of course we should screen out natural disasters like the 2007 Spring frosts in the US or the Summer flooding in the UK, and plants eaten by rabbits, deer etc.

    I invite readers to contribute to this and I will start with my own data for year 2006 (4 losses, 1.5%) and 2007 (1 loss, 0.3%). With about 60% of my maples less than 5 years old.

    Gomero
     
  2. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,958
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    ROME Italy zone9/b
    for year 2006 : 5 losses /70 in life >>3 for my error ,2 for verticillum
    for year 2007 : 6 losses/95 in life >> 3 for my error 3 verticillum
    my popolation is young for 75% like Gomero < 5 years
    the best maple grow: conspicum Silver Cardinal
    the worse maple grow: crategeifolium Viecthi
     
  3. amazondoc

    amazondoc Active Member

    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    East TN, USA
    I don't have enough maples to make a good sample, but out of about 8 plants I lost two last year. One to the late freeze, and one (A. shirasawanum 'Aureum', which I read is prone to this problem) to probable over-heating and under-watering.

    The frozen one was actually my oldest, right around 5 years. The full moon was about 2? -- something like that. One gallon pot.
     
  4. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,011
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    I don't know how many maples I have .. something between 75 and a 100
    I only lost one last year, and it was due to my own stupidity ..... I thought I could get away with a little less drainage, but we had a ferociously wet summer and autumn. It was a new plant (Moonfire) which was in beautiful leaf and doing well. When it started to lose its leaves I dug it up and raised it a few inches and put it back in the same spot. What an idiotic thing that was to do ....
    Anyways it died ..... another new plant to replace this year, and I will certainly replace it with the same variety but plant somewhere more sensible
    It is funny how the desire to have a beautiful maple in a particular spot can make you plant it where you should know better ....
    A Senkaki (about 8 years old with me) showed very real signs of disease (like in the current post on the subject). I cut off all of the blackened branches and up until this moment it looks as though it will give me another year at least
    Here's hoping ......
    Incidentally ... my plants are of varying ages from 15 years down to 1, but I usually buy fairly large plants each year, depending on what is available
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    19,736
    Likes Received:
    177
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    I'd consider multiple losses associated with dieback an indication of a disease problem, either an infested site or stock coming in infested. Or both.
     
  6. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,681
    Likes Received:
    147
    Location:
    Britain zone 8/9
    Depends on whether you ever find them again after losing them! Try looking in all the usual places where things tend to get lost, like between the cushions on the sofa, or down behind the cupboard drawers . . .

    ;-)
     
  7. bigjohn33

    bigjohn33 Active Member

    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    france (gironde)
    like gomero
    35 young maples (less than 5 years old) only one died this week (bacteria )
    i pruned it and believe i can save it
    my neighbor is also an addict
    she has more than 50 maples since 10 or 15 years
    during this period she only lost 3
    i hope i got the same record!
     
  8. ashizuru

    ashizuru Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Spalding UK
    In my experience my main losses have been to fungus, with Verticillium being the main culprit, even today it is still not understood, how it occurs, another problem I had last year 2007 was Fusarium wilt on my acer seedlings, whether the extremely wet summer contributed, I don't know.
    I tried a new approach last year and potted my new trees, with added Mycorrhizal granules, with surprisingly good results, they put lots of new growth and a vigorous root system, the trade name of the product I used was Rootsafe, but it is marketed by a few others also.
    However after visiting Dick van der Maat, and veiwng his trees over the last couple of years and being impressed by their vigour and good health, he has convinced me to go down the Effective Organisms road, which is a system used by quite a few growers in Holland, and seems to be the way forward.So I will keep you posted as to the out come.
    Finally my losses, for 2006 was a 5 year old Garnet to Verticillium, it took 3 years to die, one branch at a time, until there was just a stump.In 2007 2 Japanese Maple Bonsai 15 years old , started to leaf out, then suddenly went black, so probably Verticilium again, and I have a Virdis in my garden at present, which died back by half its volume,last fall, I think it might last another year, if I'm lucky, similar to Wisky's Senkaki situation, but once you are on the slippery slope, there is not much you can do, to save them, at present!

    Ashizuru......
     
  9. paxi

    paxi Active Member

    Messages:
    389
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Well, representing the total beginner category, I have 10 one or two year grafts, three in container and 7 in ground (I wasn't sure whether the OP was referring only to in ground trees) Have lost one this winter to deer or rabbits. The real test may come though in the st. louis summer. May be interesting to see how dependent the "normal" loss rate is on gardening zone (mine's 5b)
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    19,736
    Likes Received:
    177
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Maples have been problematic at the Island County place, where I'm inclined to think there may be Pseudomonas involved.
     
  11. ashizuru

    ashizuru Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Spalding UK
    That's an interesting theory Ron, I was reading a paper the other day by a Deiter Hass of Lausanne University about the very same thing, although I must admit the majority of it was way above my head, and it appears that a lot of research is being done in this field. It appears that it is Pseudomonas Syringae Aceris that attacks the Acer species, and maybe the cause of all our woes., further investigation is warranted I think.

    Ashizuru.....
     
  12. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,011
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    Now what would that be if you were writing home?
     
  13. emery

    emery Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,052
    Likes Received:
    336
    Location:
    Normandie, France
    This is a great thread, and I think we should all reply with absolute candor. I've thought about this a lot, and wondered what others tolerate.

    In the foreword to "The Illustrated Guide" Philippe de Spoelberch writes: "Maples, however, are temperamental trees, and three must be planted so that two may prosper."

    Going by the guideline of "prosper" rather than survive, I suspect this may be so... I have a Mirte, deer damaged, that stubbornly refuses to do more than sit there. It is alive after 3 years in the ground, but I can't say it has grown. Right next to it Shishigashira grows in leaps and bounds after two years here. Why? There's the rub...

    In terms of fatalities I think we shouldn't limit the "natural disasters" as this is part of what defines our local environment, especially in terms of more and more unpredictable weather.

    So, I've got around 85 Acer taxa, some multiples in there. Most of my plants are young but I try and buy as large as I can; these prosper better in my very wet and poorly draining situation. I also will give the year planted and reason for the loss. In 2007 I lost:

    A. beurgerianum 'Nokoribo' (06) -- late frost, root stock lived, grew 5 ft!
    A. davidii 'Karmen' (05) -- wilt after summer flooding. A unique plant from a Princess' garden, no less... :(
    A. olivaceum (06) -- fungus weakened, spring frost. A rare maple which had shown gorgeous fall colour.
    A. palmatum 'Peeve's multicolor' (06) -- this 2 year graft was destroyed in a hail storm.
    A. palmatum 'Asahi zuru' (06) -- healthy 2 year graft was hit by a falling pear and snapped.
    A.palmatum 'Sango kaku' (05) -- small graft, poor culture and then run over by a dog.
    A. pseudosieboldianum (05) -- turned black in the winter wet. Replaced with a seed grown specimen, which is so far very happy in same spot in spite of the very wet summer.

    In the very wet summer newly planted A. tutcheri and A. mandshuricum were very unhappy and chlorotic but I hope will survive.

    Further Seiryu, Osakazuki and a Sango Kaku have all been cut back for the wilt, will probably last another season but maybe not more. (Sometimes I think I should give up earlier on verticillium infected trees...) This is my second seiryu to wilt. A. rufinerve (species) and A. campestre 'Acuminatilobum' were damaged by a hare, but will live although both may lose the central leader. Oh and of course the other Sango kaku that had the pseudomonas, the jury is out.

    So, all losses together I am at about 8%. Which is an unhappy figure.

    Alex, Silver Cardinal is hard to grow here, it doesn't much like the wet. I lost one in 05. Currently my little one has some problems but is hanging in there, it was in full leaf for heavy snow last march but lived to tell the tale.

    I noticed Amur maples leafing out yesterday!! Also just noticed mandshuricum has burst, showing bright red tightly packed leaf clusters. Very attractive but much, much too early.

    -E
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2008
  14. ashizuru

    ashizuru Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Spalding UK
    Maybe I should have added Micro- Sam !!!
     
  15. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    19,736
    Likes Received:
    177
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    "Two of the major causative agents of root rot in young Japanese maples are Pythium and Pseudomonas species. Like Botrytis, these fungi also invade dead, dying, and diseased twigs and shoots wherever high levels of soil moisture or high humidities prevail. In addition, Pseudomonas may cause sudden dieback (or death prior to spring bud unfolding) in very small twigs, small branches, or in some cases the loss of large branches and a major part of the tree"

    --Vertrees (Gregory), Japanese Maples - Third Edition (2001, Timber Press, Portland)
     
  16. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,958
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    ROME Italy zone9/b
    of course the principal cause of dead for my acer is the italian clima this my error ,for ex. dissectum cultivar, in my climate is bad idea buy this cultivar ,but when i see one maple with good coulor i'm not resist...for my soil /climate grow good, pseudo platanus,
    plataoides,rubrum??? campestre, conspicum, opalus,saccharinum,i buy dissectcum ,palmatum,davidii......
     
  17. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Philadelphia PA
    Very interesting how many of our challenges are linked to location. I understand that some east coast growers feel that Oregon plants are far more likely to harbor pathogens.

    Last year I did not lose one plant out of about 30. In the few years previous I lost a plant or two that were year old grafts. And I lost some older trees to squirrels-- the root stock survived.

    I like to think that with experience and a larger collection my survival rate improves. Since becoming involved on this forum I've modified some of my cultural practices. This Spring I'll get a lot of feedback most importantly the survival rate.

    The main adjustments I made are:
    Faster draining mix
    Incorporating bio-char into soil mix
    Fall root pruning
    Weekly feeding until end of August
    More shade for younger trees
    Daily watering because of faster drainage
    Less winter protection


    If I lost one or two (out of 50) and they were new grafts I would not be so concerned. If I lost older plants I would be concerned. If i lost a mix of both (YIKES) I would be relentlessly posting pics and asking for opinions.

    Location wise my main challenge is winter protection. Very urban here only concrete underfoot. Winter protection strategy pics:
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Maple_Lady

    Maple_Lady Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    215
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    La Center, WA USA
    Hi Gil,

    Great growing tips and I thought it was harsh and very unmaple like weather in PA. I just started a new thread concerning use of Mycorrhizae, I am looking for feedback.

    I would like to say I have very little loss, but first year grafts are more tempermental and some of those I purchased last spring were so puny it would take 2 years to have a one gallon. Anyway, of the 3,000 - I probably lost 200. Yep, it hurts, but I also look at the fact that natural selection is taking place. Only the strongest survive. Has anyone tried using Agrimyicin [not sure of the spelling] - an anti-biotic for plants?
     
  19. johnnyjumpup

    johnnyjumpup Active Member

    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    West Kootenay BC Canada
    Hi,

    I have a 15 yr old acer palmatum, green leaves edged with orange in spring, orange in autumn. It has 4 trunks and is about 12 to 15 feet high. In the past three years has developed fissures and cracks in the bark on three of the trunks. This is alarming as it is my biggest and best JM. Is there any hope it will pull through? We have had three summers of very, very dry weather and have been on water restrictions. We have lots of snow cover here in winter, and very little wind, _-25C the coldest it gets usually around -10 to -15C. I have 12 jms of varying sizes and shapes.

    Seiryu has died back a foot or two twice, Waterfall is growing like gangbusters, I have a red atropurpurum that has been 2 feet high for 20 years, bits die back but it looks the same as it did when I planted it. I had a Red dragon in a pot for three years and it did very well until last winter in the garage. When I brought it out in spring, there was no new buds. Never say die, I kept watering it and eventually it put out new growth.

    I did loose my little seedlings over the summer, possibly to a poor soil mix. I have several ziplock bagsful of seeds and peatmoss from my JMs and vine maple stratifying in the garage as we speak. Can any one suggest the best potting mix for newly sprouted maple seeds? I have some mycorhizza left from last year (bought for my peas and beans) and can try that as well. I noticed seedlings sold in pots in Kyoto temples in the fall seemed to be potted in gravel and they were thriving. I know mine compacted over the course of the summer. I have chicken grit. Would a mix of potting soil and chicken grit and some finely ground bark be a good mix?

    Thanks
     
  20. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Live in Mapleton, Illinois, zone 5
    Some great threads lately!
    I am losing fewer potted maples because like "Poetry" I have lightened up my mix. Most of the potted maples lost have been due to my own stupid fault, like I will try to take them out of the garage too early in the spring and then we have a cold snap. The ones planted in the ground that I lose are from two things: either cold hardiness (zone 5) or I have a lot what I presume is the vert. wilt, the leaves wilt, branches die back. What surprised me after reading these posts is that it seems to be a very common problem all over. I had an Ever Red that I lost 2/3 rds of last summer, but the rest of it looks good. I have a "shrinking" Tamukeyama" that loses a portion of itself each year. I lost a japonicum that just lost parts until it died. So I guess to put a number on it, I probably lost about 20 % when I first started growing maples, but now it's probably more 5-10%. However, someone on the thread about ebay brought up a good point. How many of us have old specimens? Like over 10-15 years? When can you actually breathe a sigh of relief and feel that a maple is going to live? Also, when you have grown a maple in a container for 5 years or so, does it get harder to keep or easier to keep alive? These little guys get to be like family members after they are around for a couple years. It's hard to lose them, especially if it's from stupidity on my end.
    Kay
     
  21. johnnyjumpup

    johnnyjumpup Active Member

    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    West Kootenay BC Canada
    Hi Kay,

    I'm zone 5 ish. Know what you mean about early spring. April is the cruelest month with its sudden freezes after warm weather. I'm resigned to some of my maples loosing body parts like Lord Nelson but would like to keep it at a minimum. Was reading on the JM thread about using ground fir bark and perlite for potting mix and am going to try that. There is still 4 feet of snow in the yard so it will be a while.
     
  22. xman

    xman Active Member

    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Plano TX USA
    Hi,

    I have about 35 trees, all in containers, most of them less than 5 years old. Over the 4 years since starting with maples I have lost 4 trees.

    1) 2 shaina, one year grafts that I got on ebay. Both died 10 days after I got them. They were still in their 4" containers (may be overwatering?). The branches would turn black one after another.

    2) 5 year shaina that I had got from a local nursery end of fall sale, but did not repot, had it in a pot in pot situation. Faulty drainage, and wet winter ended its life. Did not leaf out in spring.

    3) 4 year old autumn moon, bought it on the internet, and was shipped with soil and container in fall. Soil had bad drainage, did not repot. Wet winter, leafed out in spring, but the leaves would wilt within a couple of days,blackening of branches, happened one branch after another, and the tree was dead in 2 weeks. May be Pseudomonas ?

    One shrinking Aureum golden fullmoon, lost a lot of branches last year, leafed out in spring, but the leaves would wilt within a couple of days,blackening of branches. Seems to stabilize after august, need to see what it does this year. May have been too wet last winter as it was near a sprinkler head.

    Lessons learnt:
    Do not let it go thru winter with soil with bad drainage.
    Always bare-root repot at least the first time when you get a new maple. I have seen some of my trees that I got as 3 gallons have root ball that was the size and shape of the 4" container all tangled up.

    xman
     
  23. Maple_Lady

    Maple_Lady Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    215
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    La Center, WA USA
    xman,

    What do you use for potting mix? In the 3rd edition of Japanese Maples, Vertree's describes his mix with a high percentage of fir bark. My potting mix is about 40% fine fir bark, then some perlite, peat moss, and compost. Do you put gravel or rocks at the bottom of your pots? Curious about Texas and the soil conditions in your area.

    I have a lot of customers in Texas and Illinois. Where there is a will, there is a way to grow our passion - maples!! Sam
     
  24. xman

    xman Active Member

    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Plano TX USA
    Sam,

    I try to keep my container mix free draining. Its 50% pine bark fines (sieved to 1/8" - 1/4"), 20 % turface, 20 % expanded shale, 10% granite grit. All my maple are in grow bags or tree/root bags with spinout. I use Mycorrhizae in my containers since couple of years ago. The first couple of years were a washout in terms of fall color because of excessive leaf scorch. Last year was my first year with good fall color, and the leaf scorch was minimum.
    Hopefully they will do as well this year.

    xman
     
  25. amazondoc

    amazondoc Active Member

    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    East TN, USA
    I think people also need to talk about how frequently they water when they talk about their potting mix. Mixes that drain REALLY quickly may require watering once or even twice a day, for instance -- and that's something that just ain't gonna happen in my yard!
     

Share This Page