Zombie birch tree- is it alive, or dead?

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by jpasquini, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. jpasquini

    jpasquini Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Springfield, Illinois
    Hello,

    Planted three birch trees in a row to replace ones killed by Japanese beetles on the side of the house last year - they all had died. These are a more beetle resistant variety. They wintered ok but now (Spring, central Illinois) two have sprouted leaves many weeks ago but the middle one has no green buds.
    The buds are there, but haven't budged.

    The twigs are all still flexible, not brittle (my only way of determining whether a tree is still alive or dead). It seems most decidedly alive........yet without any way to make food for itself, it is surely doomed. Refuses to do anything, stuck in a zombie state.
    Is it dying? How long to wait before the death pronouncement, and is there anything that can be done..........thanks!
     
  2. Lysichiton

    Lysichiton Active Member

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    Location:
    Fraser Valley, BC.
    Difficult issue - zombie plants. I have found that the only reliable way for me to find out if a plant is alive/dead/both/neither, is to wait until my wife pronounces it so. Then I follow her instructions on what to do about it. I think this should work as well in Illinois as it does in British Columbia.
     
  3. saltcedar

    saltcedar Rising Contributor 10 Years

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  4. pmurphy

    pmurphy Rising Contributor

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    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    I have never heard of "zombie" plants but think I might have a half zombie.....is that possible?

    I have a dwarf cherry tree that forked about 6" up and form two trunks. Half the tree (one of these trunks) has healthy green leaves on it while the other trunk - which started out the same but suddenly stopped growing about 2 weeks ago - has only little leaf buds but no leaves yet. The branches are still flexible and there is no color difference in the bark.....it just looks very strange.
     

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