dead or not?

Brewster, MN(Zone 4b)

I planted a tree peony in the spring of '09. It greened up and seemed to do fine over summer. She was nestled under 3' of snow over winter and was green and thriving all spring. About the middle of June I found it failing terribly. It was a very wet and cool period and thought to was probably fungus that got it. She showed no regrowth over summer but the root seems firmly set it the ground yet. My heart is broken. What can I expect next spring, do you think? I know they are grafted, is there any chance of the graft surviving?

Kansas City, MO

From my experiences leave the plant where it is. As strange as it sounds I have one tree peony that died and I left it to mark the place to plant a different plant in it's space. Having suffered several setbacks, deer and human feet, the plant is alive and well. It may have come up the second year but I did not notice it. Now I leave the tree peonies in place as long as the stem solid for a year or so to see if the cells in the stem will send out new growth. The stem if alive has the ability to send out both stem and root tissues as long as the connection with the nurse root is strong.

If you worry about it being unsightly plant a few annuals that grow higher than the visible stem.

Brewster, MN(Zone 4b)

Oh, that is such good news. It's my first TP and I was so disappointed that I lost it, not to mention the $. I'll still have to wait and see, but now I'll cross my fingers. Actually the dead stem is quite hidden by a callicarpa that has gotten out of hand. If the TP lives could it be moved?

Tiffin, OH(Zone 5a)

Once your tree peony has recovered and shows strong growth it can be transplanted to another spot.
Just prepare the area-dig a hole as deep as the rootball and about twice as wide,fill the hole with water and allow it to absorb into the surrounding soil. Pile the soil from the hole aside& mix in some compost and break up any dirt clods. Carefully dig up the TP -I usually use a digging fork rather than a shovel and go out at least a foot ,work your way around the base of the plant until you can rock it loose. Plop it into the new hole making sure it is set no deeper than it was before.Step back and view it from several angles BEFORE you fill the dirt back in.( This is the voice of experience-I have had to dig plants back up to turn the "good side" out) Then just backfill to the original soil line and water in well. Keep it watered regularly until it shows new growth then it should be good to go!!
The early spring is usually the best time for moving larger plants around here-zone 5, especially if we've had a really hot, dry summer like this year. That kind of weather is very stressful on plants.
Picture is the first tree peony I ever transplanted-It was full grown in a friend's yard and she asked if I wanted it....I left skid marks getting to her house to dig it up!!

Thumbnail by mwhit
Brewster, MN(Zone 4b)

Thanks, mwhit. Assuming I see some growth in the spring, I'll follow your instructions. Was hoping to see a little regrowth yet this year, but didn't. Guess we wait till spring and see what happens. Sorry you had a hot, dry summer. Mine was hot and wet. Fall, too. Just got 8.5" of rain in less than 24 hours. At least everything will go into winter well watered.

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