Dead branch or is the tree dead/dying?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

We planted this Scolopendrifolium in June of '07 and it's been fine until the last week. Look at it now!

I just called an arborist and they'll be here Tuesday.

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

A closer look.

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Other parts are green.

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Springfield, IL(Zone 6a)

If you can get several jpegs of the subject branch base all the way around and up to the dead part as close as possible that should give us a better idea of what is going on ( possibly)..The dead top really tells us nothing and I am having a hard time seeing what branch base is involved..david

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I'll have to do it in two parts with a towel behind it to differentiate between the plants near it. I'll do it this afternoon.

Thank you for your willingness to help.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Let's hope these photos help.

Here's the dead side.

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

A close-up if that helps.

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

The branch that appears to be dead.

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

The branch going towards the base.

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

The bottom.

I cannot see any swollen areas at all.

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

To confuse matters even more there is one branch with green leaves coming off the dead branch.

Thanks for any help or encouragement you can give me.

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Stanford, CA(Zone 9b)

I'm so sorry about your tree Pirl! What a shame. If there is a green alive branch coming off of the 'dead' branch then I would leave it and see what happens in the spring. Are there any blackened spots on the branches? I couldn't see any from the photo.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

No black spots, Doss, and nothing swollen either. We have Bartlett coming Tuesday at 1 PM for an examination and diagnosis.

My feeling was to just leave it if the diagnosis is fatal and it should make a nice but pricey trellis for a clematis.

Springfield, IL(Zone 6a)

Hummm..I agree with doss the low green a healthy branch is a good sign....I have seen branches on more common JM's just die like this one... it is usually something systemic with that branch or tree.and as Doss implies involves blackening.. so the bottom part may do ok for a while and also succum ... but that by no means means the whole tree will but who knows ... I really have no ideas here I keep thinking though that some spray drift damage from a neighbor or herbicide of some sort but that is a guess and if it were true the outconme might only involve that branch... it just doesn't show any outward signs of disease ... one test is to cut part of the branch and see if there is any streaks of black inside ...that would be VERY bad because that would be vercillium wilt and be fatal end of story. some types are quick kiinng some types slow ....David

Stanford, CA(Zone 9b)

Love it 'nice but pricey trellis for a clematis'. Always room for one more Pirl! You sure know how to make lemonade.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks, David. We're absolutely certain it wasn't a case of drift spray since neighbors do not spray nor do they hire companies who spray. Verticilium was the first thought of JasperDale as well.

Doss, I'm trying to be optimistic so I'll concentrate on iced tea instead! Thanks for the comment.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Analysis:

Either...Verticilium wilt, root rot from the several huge downpours we had in July, or transplant shock.

Spring will be the judge of whether it remains alive or not.

Stanford, CA(Zone 9b)

In other words, your tree is sick but he doesn't know why? Let's hope that it's transplant shock.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Right. I was rather surprised to learn transplant shock can appear within the first two years. He did rule out certain death if that's a consolation. He was very nice and I hope it's just in a bit of shock rather than "a little bit dead". We all know what that means.

Stanford, CA(Zone 9b)

i don't know how he is convinced that it won't die if it has Verticilium wilt or root rot. Let's just hope that he's right however.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

He's not convinced it will either live or die. He is sure the branch in question is dead.

Stanford, CA(Zone 9b)

guess I misunderstood. Poor tree. IF it is wilt though you should not plant another JM in it's spot. Bummer, huh?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Right. He said the exact same thing. He even extended it to a larger area than I thought would be the case.

Stanford, CA(Zone 9b)

That's good to know. I"m so sorry. It is such a nice big tree.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

It's Harry's favorite resting spot.

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Stanford, CA(Zone 9b)

How good of Harry not to sleep on the perennials! He's looking pretty cute there PIrl.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

He's a very good boy in the garden and never wanders into the beds. Let's hope he has that tree for his shady spot next year.

Pepperell, MA(Zone 6a)

pirl have you spoke to the nursery where you purchased the tree? many offer one year guarantee. i'd go over there and speak to them. sorry about the tree.

does harry lift his leg high? could he be the culprit??

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I will go to the nursery this weekend provided the storm allows me to get there.

Harry doesn't do that in the gardens and seldom in the dog's pen. He prefers the trees along his many daily walks as do the neighborhood dogs. They all leave their calling cards!

Springfield, IL(Zone 6a)

I hope you didn't pay much or anything for that diagnosis ;<0 Did he cut the branch and check for black steaks ... as suggested earlier...if not do so ...the branch has to come off anyway.... I would think it may be a root problem but habe never heard tf partial root rot ....it is either rotted or not and the whole tree is effcted as far as I know but I could be wrong but that has been my experience... but some sort of root problem may be involved especially if spray has been ruled out.It may decline over several years if roots are involved ... if it is over 1 year old the nursery is unlikely to honer any guranteee and you said it was two...but it's worth a shot ...my guess is they will say cut the branch and let them know next year hoping you will just let it drop .I certaiinly wouldn't be buying a tomb stone for it just yet ...on the other hand I wouldn't get you hopes up either.David

This message was edited Sep 4, 2008 10:54 AM

This message was edited Sep 4, 2008 10:55 AM

Pepperell, MA(Zone 6a)

pirl i just read your first post that this was purchased in June of 07. May not have any luck if it is that old. still worth it to ask. if they help or offer a significant discount on a replacement you have a good nursery.

Springfield, IL(Zone 6a)

For some reason my 1st partially posted reply was about 1/2 there and additional with post editing and the post seems to be shrinking rather than growing ...lets try this for the THIRD time

I hope you didn't pay much or anything for that diagnosis ;

Springfield, IL(Zone 6a)

I give up my answer will not post I got other things to do ..D

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

David - the bill hasn't yet arrived.

The owner of the nursery is a terrific guy and isn't likely to give us grief so we'll see what he offers. We did go there about two weeks ago and there were two I liked but I can't use either of them for that spot.



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Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

Quoting:
I hope you didn't pay much or anything for that diagnosis


No kidding! I know this is terrible, but it's this sort of thing that is why I never go to the doctor. Why bother making a co-payment of a deductible just to have them tell me that I have a cold -- something I already knew?

Anyway, Pirl, I really hope the rest of your tree pulls through. And your dog is absolutely adorable. I think I'd have to call him "Prince Harry" if I ever met him.

Springfield, IL(Zone 6a)

Well lets try this again.... Did he cut a part of the dead branch and look for black streaks if not that limb needs to be removed and burnt or otherwize disposed of clean all cutting tools after so yiou shou;ld be able to get a good look. I am not sold on root rot .although it may be a root problem of some sort... usually, at least in my experience root rot effectss the whole tree unless it is multu trunked with several roots balls involved.then one part may only be effected. You might learn alot more when you cut it off... I'd cut it in slices if 1 foot each and inspect ..you may find something . hopefully you are wrong and something just "got on" that branch . if so the tree will likely be fine if not it may peter on for a few years or just die who knows ...but I think you will have at least a bit more time to enjoy it at least I hope so. I wouldn't hold out much hope from the nursery after 2 years ... my guess they will tell you to wait til next year with the hope you won't bother them again about it or give you a good disc. on a new tree ...personally I wouldn't replace a two year pat planted tree ..I find some other way to make it right or keep ya happy...Good luck David

Springfield, IL(Zone 6a)

Since my posting is working again...I might add in this dudes defense it is pretty hard to id JM diseases in my experience and we all tend to blame either Vercillium or psuedonomous for just about everything ...throw in root rot ...cause most JM's are not subject to many diseases... ( unless they are unhealthy and skanky in the first place . But I am not totally sold they can't get varias other problems.,..maybe last year you had scale and didn't notice ...or some other boreing or sucking bug ...it happens... The thing that bothers me is that he didn't test it for anything as far as your posts go ... most others who have had problems and called out tree folks or extension erperts ...they took samples tested the tree for varias maladies ...a visual inspection is just what we all did in this thread already and that was/is inconclusive ...there are no visable problems with that branch other than it's dead... so that is why I said I hope you weren't charged anything or much ..David

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks, GardenSox. I was more than a bit disappointed with the "diagnosis".

David - the man had the "wait and see" approach. We'll get to the nursery if the storm due tomorrow holds off for a few hours. The owner of the nursery and I have an ongoing deal as I grow hostas for him and he sells them so I think he'll be fair as he's always been. It's a small operation and he values his reputation.

We still haven't received a bill. I, too, thought he'd take a branch for analysis but he didn't. I do appreciate your statement, David, that some problems are hard to diagnose.

I'll report on the outcome.

Thank you to all who responded and Prince Harry thanks GardenSox since he does believe he's some kind of royalty, I'm sure. He's certainly treated as such probably because he's a good boy and a very loyal buddy. He won't leave the property unless he goes in the car or by leash and happily stays in his cool dog's pen with the gate open.

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Update: the tree survived but I did remove the branches that truly were dead and now I have some sprouting going on and would love some advice on either leaving them or removing them. I'll post a few photos and you can tell me which ones to remove.

Thanks for your help.

Here's the tree from a short distance:

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Sprouts at joint and near ground level:

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