Last fall I planted a B&B (clay) Orido Nishiki. It leafed out well this spring. In late June I began to get some tip die back, but I didn't think it serious. It was not fertilized, I usually don't the first year. Watering was a scheduled once a week. We had a bad heat/drought spell beginning July 4th and ending last night ( rain wise). Supplemental water was all the water it had received. As all other JM's were doing fine with the same care I had felt safe. We left for a short vacation ( 8 days) and came home to what I thought was a severely sunburned tree, except this was located in shade with little direct sun. In the last few days I watched as limb after limb just died. Healthy green leaves just turned a funny brown, curled up and crisped. There was a small flush of new growth low on the trunk. I threw in the towel and dug it up. I cut close to the trunk with the shovel and popped it out of the ground. (A Sekemori is in its place.) I was curious about the root mass so I hosed off the clay. I was astonished and mad. When this was dug at the nursery all the major roots had been cut severely short. None was over 8 inches long. Then clay had been packed under and around to make it appear as though there was a decent sized root ball, when if effect there was little at all. The tree had tried in vain to produce roots to support the top but it just couldn't make up the deficit. The first photo is the total extent of the major root mass. All the major roots had been cut at the nursery, not by me!
Doomed Orido Nishiki
I don't trust B&B transplants anymore, and the nursery business is going more and more to container-grown JMs, with good reason. In the nurseries right now, the contrast between B&B and container-grown JMs is startling, with the former looking really bad and the latter looking just great. Whenever possible, I choose container-grown JMs for my clients.
Your considerable experience in your field shows. The Sekimori I just planted had been a B&B and then potted in a container! Neither the plastic twine nor the burlap had been removed, except for the part at the top of the plant. It had grown through the burlap and did have decent root mass, clear to the bottom of the container.
I personally think your tree had plenty of healthy roots to support that tree.. I can't say what happened but it could be any # of things.first comes to mind it was bare rooted trimmed and clay planted in the burlap ... that is not a good idea cause it means air can get in and dry out the roots or cause problems when you plant it a true B&B I believe is dug root ball put or wraped in burlap no dirt added and NOT bare rooted and planted in such..
The cutting may have put your tree in some stress and caused it to not be as full but i sincerly fell it had little to do with it's dimise ...I had a large Coonara Pigmy die after planting out this spring and it was in a large grow bag ...it had the same leafing out then dieing as yours mine had alot of clay in it and a thick root nss I think I pruned the root ball a bit which is often done .
I do prefer either potted or bare root than B&B... I am getting more bare root stuff all the time or semi bare root and it does fine if shipped quickly or in early spring or even in summer and planted out swifly in pots or in ground kept shaded well watered spot etc. NEVER get bare or semi bare root shipped in winter unless you can gurantee it will NOT freeze during shipping time ( A dicey wager) I will tell ya from experience you will have a virtual total loss of trees that will leaf iout nicely in spring and promptly die due to roots freezing!! with potted stuff you will likely be ok except with maybe liners or newly grafted trees in very small tiny pots . The beauty of BR or SBR is that it can be shipped cheaply and YOU can plant out in sol mixture of your choising as I believe each region often has differnt soil medium needs... what grows out west well in their high bark mix oft might not do well were you live...you may need more soil and less bark as I do.Aas long as it is done in apr. thru oct. in most areas
I would bring up my fall planting taboo but mine was spring planted . A root system like that with that much trimming may have been hurt by fall planting but I could not be certain ...I still think it is folly to do so ...even though I don't think it was a major factor in your problem ..david
This message was edited Sep 12, 2008 4:57 PM
This message was edited Sep 12, 2008 5:03 PM
I guess the photos didn't do it justice. There simply was woefully insufficient root mass to support a tree of that caliper, regardless of when it went in the ground.
I still doubt that alone would kill it ...stunt it or otherwise cause damage maybe.... but totally kill it possible but unlikely IMHO of course if the conditions were severe last winter and spring and summer well... maybe.. David
It appears the picture I am looking at that has the roots cut is showing very white color. I would have the think that this plant is still alive and well. If it were dead the plant would have had brown or black color on the exposed (cut) root. Also the trunk looks very green and I do not see any black around the crown of the root. If you still have this plant I would repot it and keep it in a protected area and see if it buds next spring.
Now, that's an excellent suggestion (to replant). JMs are tougher than many think, and it might just survive to develop into a great plant.
I have had many maples that appeared dead and for some stupid reason I always give them 1 more year, and the majority always seem to respond positively. My sharpes pygmea in a 20 gallon container comes to mind. It has a 3" cal. and all the leaves droped off. I dug it up and placed it in a 20 gallon overwintering it in a cold house and to my surpise it broke bud and the second year I was taking scions again.
I though the same as Dave, your tree does not look dead at all. The stem still looks very green and the roots look healthy. As far as the root mass is considered it seems to have a very decent amount of roots.
I had been to a wholesale maple nursery when they had just received about a 1000 red dragon bareroots from New Zealand and were potting them. I was surprised to see that these trees had zero roots, they were about 2 feet long, 1" caliper stems with just 3 thick roots about 4" each. They all looked like tripods, no fibrous roots at all.
The owner said that he has been doing this for years and usually most of the bareroots are ready for sale by the end of the quarantine period of 2 years.
After seeing this I am a lot more confident when root pruning my trees that are all in containers.
Go ahead repot this and it may still make it.
It's sat out of the ground too long now? It did have a flush of new growth begining about 11" up from the root flare. So you all are correct that it wasn't totally dead. Every side limb I cut off to make it easier to remove was dead as a door nail however. (Just what is a door nail?) I'm going to take all your advice, which I truly appreciate, and put the tree, as it is, in a container and plunge the container in the ground, in a protected out of the way spot. We've had 4" of rain last night/thismorning and 5" more expected tomorrow. It should settle in farily well. I'll mulch when the monsoons stop and we'll see what happens. Thanks All!
A door nail is a steel nail I assume ... I guess you could use "dead as a bed post" ...Or as In the "Brother" movie "dead as a sack of hammers" instead of "dumb as"... why door nails came about seems odd of all the things you think about that would never make anyones list now... but I did find this which the second part seems VERY plausable.. David
Well, it's potted. Pretty ugly in the looks department. The plunge spot where it will over winter is out of sight, thank heaven. It will be well protected from wind and well mulched. That's the best chance I can give it. Hopefully it won't be dead as a door nail ( second plausable meaning) come spring. (I later cleaned up the pruning hack job too.)
This message was edited Sep 13, 2008 5:21 PM
Actually I love its pre-bonsai look, it could turn out to be a nice looking specimen if it pulls thru.
Pre-bonsai! Thank You! My DH thinks I've lost my mind with this one. Now I can say it's a pre-bonsai, not that "stick in a tub", as he called it, when he helped me carry it to the over wintering nook.
The spouces of JM'sters are a cynical bunch always giving ...begrudgingly into our addictions and lip service to helping with just about anything to do with JM's.... they humore us with their psuedo support... and basically go along with our obsession to keep the peace ...been their done that ... but even qualified help and support is still something ;>) David
No, unfortunately it did not. The canopy completely died, leaving only the trunk to sprout dormant buds. It's since been replaced with another JM that's doing pretty good. I seem to have only about a 70% survival rate in my garden for JM's. Due in part to excessively sandy soil that doesn't hold any moisture and partly to freezes at the wrong time. But I love them so much I just keep on trying. I have more now than I've ever had. At least so far. Who knows what weather we have store for this spring? :)