What's wrong with my JM 'Asahi zuru'?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Dr. Cindy, May 1, 2007.

  1. Dr. Cindy

    Dr. Cindy Member

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    I am hoping it is not the dreaded vericillium wilt. This is a fairly young tree that has been in the ground for one full year. Caliper is about 1 1/2" and it's 5' tall. I have been out of town for a week and today when I looked at the tree, all of the newly emerging leaves were wilted, all throughout the tree. The trunk is also black, up to the lower limbs, although none of the limbs themselves are black. I do recall noticing the trunk color looking funny before I left town but it's much worse now.

    I took a sample to my local nursery and the person thinks it's verticillium wilt but isn't sure. What threw him off is that none of the branches are black. The sample I gave him had the wilted leaves, but was completely green when he scratched off the cambium.

    All I've done so far is to give it a dose of some Super Thrive, this vitamin type booster. I am worried if it is verticillium wilt because I have an Orido nishiki about 20 feet away. It looks OK for now though. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  2. Galt

    Galt Active Member

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    Not sure what the test will turn up, but it is likely a form of verticillium that can strike maple very quickly and kill off a plant of the size you mention in a week or so. It can take down small one gallongs in a couple of days and will strike maples up to 7 gallons or better and as many years in age.

    It it is indeed that quick acting form of verticillium, it has been called "Quick Delicine" verticillium around the forum and in the maple community. It is usually carried in the rootstock or the scion and unfortunately there is no remedy. Good news for you is that it is not an issue that will be transmitted to your other maples and will likely even leave your planting site intact.

    When we test for pathogens in our diseased maples sometimes multiple things can turn up. Verticillium is a good bet here.

    Sorry--I've been there more times than I care to remember.
     
  3. Scion Swapper

    Scion Swapper Active Member

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    Sounds like Pseudomonas infection to me. You in the PNW have a HUGE problem with pseudomonas in your soils/seeds/climate that affects Acer palmatums. I've seen entire crops delivered to to New Jersey of 5k+ seedlings all get quarentined and burned by NJ state inspectors due to psuedomonas. At our nurseyr, we've had PNW field grown Acer palmatums look excellent upon arrival, months to a year later, black bruises, the tell tale sign of psuedomonas infection, and wilting leave destroyed 25-50% of a crop. This does not occur with our locally grown seedlings. This is a HUGE issue in my opionion that is not being discussed or address by west coast growers.

    In New Jersey, we've NEVER seen pseudomonas occur or infect locally grown trees (never seen in our seedlings/grafts/trees). Perhaps a climate or seed source issue?? Maybe killed off by cold winters??? Our nursery doesn't buy any seed/seedlings/trees of the genus Acer from the PNW for this reason.

    Brian
     
  4. Galt

    Galt Active Member

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    While the PNW certainly has problems with much more than pseudomonas in their/our maples, it is unlikely that a pseudomonas infection wilted your 5ft tree in a matter of a week unless you had missed some serious warning signs before.

    The canker form of pseudomonas is carried internally as is the form of verticillium that likely attacked your tree. The overall presentation can look like psuedomonas, but the blighting form of that disease usually only wipes out smaller maples, like seedlings, in such short time spans. In the end, the destruction is still as disturbing and equally so how little attention and care is given to improving the problem. It is not simply a matter of cultural practices now, as those are regularly used to mask the diseases, it is a matter of cleaning up the plants, the seeds and the rootstocks. All of which may be too far gone in many commercial operations to be repaired at this point.

    Too bad.
     
  5. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Galt,
    My understanding is that Verticillium symptoms usually appear later in the season and that branch and twig dieback in early spring is likely due to pseudomonas as Brian suggests. I agree with you that it seems a lot of wilting for a pseudomonas infection but I would like to see pictures to better assess the problem. I am lucky my soil seems to be free of Verticillium but I have seen a lot of early Spring damage due to pseudomonas, even in mature trees.

    Gomero
     
  6. Galt

    Galt Active Member

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    There is a difference between a bacterial blight or attack and an internal wilt. It is easiest to see the difference between the quick decline form of verticillium and pseudomonas very near the time the initial wilt occurs, as the shoots, petioles, and leaves lose turgidity. Once the damage has sat for a few days and dehydrated, it becomes more difficult, but we can still find tell tale signs if we know what to look for.

    This form of wilt will attack or manifest often early in the season during leaf out when the plant is under a great deal of stress, after transplants, or any other time we weaken the plant. The slower acting alboatrum form of veriticillium that often shows presents in the tops of trees as we see defoliation and dieback in the summer is different. It is also not associated with blackening of tissue. This slower acting form is often seen in the hottest part of the year when its constriction or blockage of the vascular system makes it visible in leaf scorch and branch and twig death under the hottest sun and greatest moisture demands. When combined with other pathogens or in a very weak tree it can be seen at other times of the year.

    Cheers!
     
  7. schusch

    schusch Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I'd like to clarify what you two are saying, Gomero and Galt: you both agree that pseudomonas won't kill a bigger tree in one week.

    Gomero - if I can ask: what kind of dieback do you take to be evidence of pseudomonas ? - some die off of twigs seems pretty common. Do you think pseudomonas becomes evident during the spring because of some type of problem with soil humidity over the winter? (too much moisture leading to a weakening of the tissue and entrance of the pathogen?) And Galt: you talk about tell tale signs when there is loss of turgidity. Can you say more about the difference between pseudomonas and signs of any of the types of verticillium at that moment, that you have observed?

    If verticillium is anyway probably in most of our maples (from the parent, for instance, not necessarily from the soil) Dr Cindy's Orido nishiki is not threatened directly by the sick Asahi zuru, but could be - indirectly - by the cultural conditions that might have led to the outbreak of vertilicillium. So this is something to look at to protect the other tree. And am I right to think that a pseudomonas infection, incurred during the winter, could weaken the tree enough to lead to such an overtaking by verticillium in the spring?

    Thanks. Since we are all dealing with these problems, this discussion is always helpful.
     
  8. Galt

    Galt Active Member

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    I always liken pseudomonas to more of a burn or a blight topically. It also usually starts at the branch ends and moves downward. It shold not have the uniformity and scope on a large plant that verticillium. On a seedling or very young plant, sometimes we have to wait of the wood to begin to dry before we can know.

    The immediate wilt form of verticillium is uniform in many cases and usually happens as if the plant has been struck-down all of a sudden. We may see some signs of it starting, but by that time it is far too late. Usually a matter of days from that point, the tree is, for all intents and purposes, dead. The loss of turgidity is uniform also, in that the leaves wilt, the petioles wilt, and the new shoots wilt. It is a WILT in the traditional sense where the slower acting chronic verticillium does not really act as a wilt even though it blocks the vasculature. Outside the scope of this, it is very possible these two forms are acting in different ways in different parts of the vasculature.

    Additionally, we have to distinguish the canker form of pseudomonas from the topical blight form as we can liken the canker form to the chronic form of verticllium--alboatrum.

    For me there are a specific subset of infections that I tend to separate and concern myself with and they are the ones above, but specifically the two forms of verticillium and the canker form of pseudomonas and the not-mentioned-here Tight Bark. The topical blights, mildew, and some of the water molds can be delt with as we have time in many cases as long as we are not talking about seedlings and new grafts. We can fend of the latter with good culture and healthy plants.

    Here are two photos for you--not sure if they will be helpful or not. The key to the quick decline form of verticillium is what I would call vascular collapse. The first photo below is of an Acer palmatum Aureum that I received by mail last year unfortunately as it was leafing out. I unboxed it, potted it and in a matter of days it was dead. The second is a larger Beni hime that I received in the mid part of June last year. It is the fastest collapes I have seen yet as I unboxed it, potted it and within 3 days it looks as it does in the photo. It just happens when we take a risk on plants that come from someone that may not giving adequate attention to producing a clean maple.

    I think that RichardBeasley just mentioned his Geisha up and died. Know of an entire lot of Geisha plants that originated from the same grower the above Beni hime came from. That lot went to at least two separate specialty nurseries and nearly ever one of them was lost the same year they were shipped. They were not 2-3 year plants if I am not mistaken. Take a weak plant and introduce a virulent form of verticillium and that is what you get. Some will want to call it pseudomonas, but it most likely is not. And on the opposit end of all this disease stuff it that there are some maple that are just weak and will give up the ghost for no real reason.......we can't attribute everything to a pathogen, but one is usually involved one way or another.
     

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  9. Dr. Cindy

    Dr. Cindy Member

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    Thank you to everyone who has educated me! Galt, are both of your pictures examples of vascular collapse? My Azahi Zuru branches look very similar to the pictures of your Aureum. I will now assume it has succumbed to the quick decline form of verticillium. But can anyone tell me about why the blackness began at the base of the trunk and moved upwards? Is that part of verticillium or does it also sound like a psuedomona concurrently affected it? Either way, I dug the tree out of the ground earlier this evening because it is obviously dead. FYI, I did cut crosswise into the trunk at the blackened part. There was absolutely no streaking or discoloration in the wood. Is that common with the quick decline form of verticillium? Should I risk trying another JM in this spot? I don't want to spend a bunch of bucks on a tree only to see it die in another year. :(
     
  10. schusch

    schusch Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Galt-
    thanks for the long elaboration. When you say "Additionally, we have to distinguish the canker form of pseudomonas from the topical blight form as we can liken the canker form to the chronic form of verticllium--alboatrum" - do you mean that the symptoms of the canker form are similar in that there is not real sudden wilting, but a slower death, like loss of vigor, no new leaves, etc?
    Schusch
     

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