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Help ... sick umbrella tree

Shoalwater, WA, Australia

My little umbrella tree is doing very poorly. On boxing day, when we got 43.6 degrees, it got burnt, and hasn't recovered. Some one told me that if i kept it in the shade, it will come right back. It's only been getting a little morning sun, but I'm afraid it might be terminally ill. Can anyone help?

Cheers

Kerri

Thumbnail by kerri_67
Shoalwater, WA, Australia

Rather than getting better since being burnt, it seems to be getting worse.

Thumbnail by kerri_67
Merino, Australia

Hello kerri. I was given one of these that had been living in a dark corner . I put it out on the veranda and it must have gone into shock as the leaves started to fall off. In desperation I cut it back and repotted it . I then put it outside in the shade house where it has lived happily ever after.
Try a light trim and repotting into fresh mix , then put pot where it will get lots of dappled light and no hot sun.
Good luck, Jean.

Shoalwater, WA, Australia

Thanks Jean. I repotted it a few months ago when i got it, which might be contributing to it not doing well. Some things get root shock or somesuch, don't they? I'll give it a bit of a trim and stick out around the back corner. There's a big tree there that will shade it well (the tree's as common as mud, but i cant think of the name of it), and i'll just have to try to remember to go out there and water it. Might seasol it again too ... that's suppposed to help with shock, isn't it?

sydney, Australia

a weak seasol every week till autumn. dont let it dry out.. put 1a1 litre bottle upside down full of water in the soil with a hole in the lid.. mulch mulch mulch.. good luck

Shoalwater, WA, Australia

cool, thanks jen :)

(Zone 10a)

I'd be more wondering how the roots are than the leaves after that baking. What kind of pot is it in? Do you think it could have suffered below the soil?

Shoalwater, WA, Australia

hmmm ... i guess that's a possibility. it was an awfully hot day. It's just in a plastic pot with generic potting mix and mulch. How would i know if the roots are damaged, and what could i do about it? It had only been in this pot for maybe an month and a half before it go burnt, so it was still settling in anyway.

There is actually some new growth coming out now. I've trimmed off the really sick looking bits, so it doesn't look so bad now. I just have to wait and see if the new leaves stay healthy or get sick too.

Would it be producing new growth if the roots were damaged? It's only a small tree, and was horribly neglected when i got it. I'll feel really sad if i can't save it.

(Zone 10a)

Well the black pots commonly around absorb heat of course. I have learned to keep them out of the sun on hot days & as the fine roots can easily burn in them. Jen's solution will probably do the job. Its more something to watch out for.

Shoalwater, WA, Australia

For sure. Now that i'm aware of it, i'll keep a closer eye on the forecasts, and make sure i bring any in black pots under the patio (which is way tiny, so it'll be pretty crowded! Soon as i can afford it, i'm gonna put up a shade house).

(Zone 10a)

Yeah, the work never ends hey? Do you have any ideas for building the shade house?

Shoalwater, WA, Australia

Kind of. I usually make that sort of stuff up as i go along. I did see some home made lighting rigs for growing seedlings made with pvc pipe frames. Something like that might work. Either that or a load of treated pine, i guess. Most of the time when I get an idea in my head, i can draw it on paper, and then convert it to reality. But like i said, i make it up as i go along, and if something doesn't work, i just try a different way.

Do you think that maybe wrapping tin foil around the plastic pots would keep the soil cooler? I was thinking maybe that would reflect the heat.

(Zone 10a)

Hmm, maybe but if you want to go that way, why not try painting them with terracotta or some liquid iron? Even just white house paint will do the job. You can coat them in sand then, before the paint dries.

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