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Japanese Maples: Dead branch or is the tree dead/dying?

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pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

August 29, 2008
2:27 PM

Post #5482720

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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pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

August 29, 2008
2:27 PM

Post #5482722

A closer look.

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pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

August 29, 2008
2:28 PM

Post #5482725

Other parts are green.

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Davidsan
Springfield, IL
(Zone 6a)

August 29, 2008
3:35 PM

Post #5483011

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
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

August 29, 2008
4:08 PM

Post #5483148

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.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

August 30, 2008
12:29 AM

Post #5484965

Let's hope these photos help.

Here's the dead side.

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pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

August 30, 2008
12:30 AM

Post #5484968

A close-up if that helps.

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pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

August 30, 2008
12:31 AM

Post #5484971

The branch that appears to be dead.

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pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

August 30, 2008
12:31 AM

Post #5484972

The branch going towards the base.

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pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

August 30, 2008
12:32 AM

Post #5484975

The bottom.

I cannot see any swollen areas at all.

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pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

August 30, 2008
12:33 AM

Post #5484979

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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doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

August 30, 2008
1:24 AM

Post #5485242

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.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

August 30, 2008
1:28 AM

Post #5485263

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.
Davidsan
Springfield, IL
(Zone 6a)

August 30, 2008
4:15 AM

Post #5485767

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
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

August 30, 2008
4:22 AM

Post #5485779

Love it 'nice but pricey trellis for a clematis'. Always room for one more Pirl! You sure know how to make lemonade.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

August 30, 2008
12:07 PM

Post #5486279

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.

pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 3, 2008
3:48 PM

Post #5502851

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.
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 3, 2008
4:37 PM

Post #5503055

In other words, your tree is sick but he doesn't know why? Let's hope that it's transplant shock.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 3, 2008
6:10 PM

Post #5503389

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.
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 3, 2008
7:40 PM

Post #5503790

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.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 3, 2008
8:43 PM

Post #5504004

He's not convinced it will either live or die. He is sure the branch in question is dead.
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 3, 2008
9:05 PM

Post #5504096

guess I misunderstood. Poor tree. IF it is wilt though you should not plant another JM in it's spot. Bummer, huh?
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 3, 2008
9:38 PM

Post #5504217

Right. He said the exact same thing. He even extended it to a larger area than I thought would be the case.
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 3, 2008
10:50 PM

Post #5504574

That's good to know. I"m so sorry. It is such a nice big tree.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 3, 2008
11:22 PM

Post #5504679

It's Harry's favorite resting spot.

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doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 4, 2008
3:31 AM

Post #5505892

How good of Harry not to sleep on the perennials! He's looking pretty cute there PIrl.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 4, 2008
11:13 AM

Post #5506437

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.
wha
Pepperell, MA
(Zone 6a)

September 4, 2008
3:25 PM

Post #5507395

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??
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 4, 2008
3:46 PM

Post #5507489

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!
Davidsan
Springfield, IL
(Zone 6a)

September 4, 2008
3:48 PM

Post #5507499

I hope you didn't pay much or anything for that diagnosis ;
wha
Pepperell, MA
(Zone 6a)

September 4, 2008
3:50 PM

Post #5507511

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.
Davidsan
Springfield, IL
(Zone 6a)

September 4, 2008
3:58 PM

Post #5507542

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 ;
Davidsan
Springfield, IL
(Zone 6a)

September 4, 2008
3:59 PM

Post #5507544

I give up my answer will not post I got other things to do ..D
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 4, 2008
4:06 PM

Post #5507564

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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GardenSox
Sacramento, CA
(Zone 9a)

September 5, 2008
9:42 PM

Post #5513045

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.
Davidsan
Springfield, IL
(Zone 6a)

September 5, 2008
10:25 PM

Post #5513170

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
Davidsan
Springfield, IL
(Zone 6a)

September 5, 2008
10:41 PM

Post #5513215

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
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 6, 2008
1:00 AM

Post #5513773

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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pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

May 15, 2010
8:26 AM

Post #7794702

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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pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

May 15, 2010
8:27 AM

Post #7794705

Sprouts at joint and near ground level:

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pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

May 15, 2010
8:28 AM

Post #7794706

Another view:

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pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

May 15, 2010
8:29 AM

Post #7794710

Would I follow the basic rules for rose pruning and remove all sprouts leading towards the center as well as everything below the joint?

In the future are there specific sprouts I should retain?
JasperDale
Long Beach, CA
(Zone 10a)

May 15, 2010
9:20 AM

Post #7794825

It looks like it survived the "amputation" quite well and is trying to fill itself in.
The new growth is definitely encouraging.

Since I don't grow JM's I would just leave the new growth and see what happens. If you think the new growth will eventually make up for the part that was lost, watch it and see for a while. Maybe try to retain enough new growth that will eventually re-establish the shape you want it to have and remove that which isn't going where you want it.

There is a house near where I live that had a nice JM in front. The house was sold and the new owner chopped the poor thing into a square. (horrors! ) Then the house was sold again and the new owner evidently hired someone who knew how to properly care for the JM and reshaped it. It's coming along very nicely now and starting to look like it SHOULD look...not a geometric blob.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

May 15, 2010
10:07 AM

Post #7794932

Thanks, JD. I wish more of the new growth were occuring towards the top and not down at ground level.

Nice that someone stepped up to save the JM in your area.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

May 15, 2010
11:47 AM

Post #7795115

In reading over this thread I have to add that I never did receive a bill from Bartlett. When I called to tell them they said since they couldn't truly diagnose the problem there is no charge.

GardenSox: through a silly move on my part last August I ended up with a severe case of sciatica and while going through physical therapy they called a halt to the sessions since the thigh muscle of the "good" leg was atrophying and I then went to a neurologist who ordered many tests: CT scan, Chest x-ray, blood work, MRI, another CT scan. The results: "inconclusive". At that point I couldn't move my left leg an inch from the floor. Now, just by gardening, I can raise it about 2 feet. Still, it is annoying to go through so much testing to find out my brain scan was "unremarkable"! LOL.
wha
Pepperell, MA
(Zone 6a)

May 15, 2010
4:44 PM

Post #7795659

hi pirl - my sibs are dong great!

as for your jm - i would remove any new sprouts that are not going in the direction of the lost limb. and then try to have only one major limb grow out from there.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

May 15, 2010
6:04 PM

Post #7795890

Great. It's always good to know plants are doing so well.

Thanks for your help, Bill. I did a very close inspection and there is one bud just about to break for a new limb and precisely where I want it.

How do I go about removing the other sprouts to try and root them?
Davidsan
Springfield, IL
(Zone 6a)

May 15, 2010
7:46 PM

Post #7796165

I agree with bill although not totally clear I would remove the two lower twig sprouts and leave the other larger sprouts and see what haps It is an interesting looking tree some might not like it I do I have several over the years requiring surgery and although distorted they look cool .. It definitely wasn't a Disease or it would long be history either a winter dieback or something got sprayed on it regardless of you feeling it couldn't have .. the tree looks perfectly healthy if it were any systemic problem it would be long dead ...Davidsan
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

May 16, 2010
5:44 AM

Post #7796846

It does look "cool" to me. Right now it almost looks as though this was all planned and not due to dead limbs.

The man from Bartlett seemed convinced it was transplant shock. Now it must feel at home (I hope) since it's growing these sprouts.
Davidsan
Springfield, IL
(Zone 6a)

May 16, 2010
7:14 AM

Post #7797044

Yah I'm not buying that explanation that effects the whole tree. Limbs die for many reasons maybe something in thee roots that fed that section of the tree were damaged who knows ... most Jms when wacked up from dead parts will eventually take ion a very distinct cool look some folks can't stand it and take them out and if it is really bad you've got to do that especially if just one sprig is left Many Dissectums also are different, they really don't ever look right when severely damaged with pom poms just pointing left or right...but most uprights will look fine in short time.. It is often obvious what causes a whole tree to die sometimes systemic sometimes abuse from the owner ( usually over loving it) not often you know what causes part of it or a single branch.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

May 16, 2010
10:20 AM

Post #7797533

I'm just very grateful that it didn't die.

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