Dying tree

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by new2thebiz, May 17, 2004.

  1. new2thebiz

    new2thebiz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    I'm really dont know much about trees and landscaping, just lawncare. But a customer of mine has a japanese maple that is dying for no apparent reason. He says it has always been a healthy tree up until this spring. I cannot find any signs of insect damage, but about a third of the tree has died and the rest of the leaves are weak and have small brown spots on them. Any suggestions on what to do, or Ideas as the what the cause might be?
  2. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Posts: 1,557

    might be root rot or perhaps cats or dogs urinating around the tree alot.
  3. Trim Creations

    Trim Creations LawnSite Member
    from Ks
    Posts: 87

    The only things I know is root rot, dig up around it and smell the soil if it smells like a toilet its root rot. Other wise you can send in a sample to the university and for a small fee they will test it and send you and explaination....best of luck
  4. neal-wolbertsinc

    neal-wolbertsinc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    Verticilllium wilt will cause sudden die-back of maples very unexpectedly and without prior sypmtoms. Get out your jack knife and peel some of the branch bark back to reveal the cambium layer. If there is black streaks in the layer it could be verticillium. There is no treatment for it. Root rots can sometimes leave stains under the bark also. A pathology report on the roots and soil would be advised if there are trees of the same specie in the area the owner cares about. Ribeiro Plant Lab on Bainbridge Island, WA is excellent at IDing root rotting fungi and diseases. He will grow a culture and write perscriptions for treatments and cultural practice corrections etc. Dr. Ribeiro's lab phone is 206-842-1157. His charges are very reasonable. me Write back for more details on sample taking etc., if you want to track this further. Neal
  5. Stephen M.

    Stephen M. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 192

    Riberio is the world expert on phytophora diseases also. He writes the books on the subject. He is definitely the guy to go to for answers.
  6. new2thebiz

    new2thebiz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    Thanks for the replies guys, so there is no cure for either the verticulum or root rot? This is the only Japanese Maple that this guy has, and the lilacs next to it are doing fine. Should a similar tree be grown in the same place if this one dies out completely, or should that location be avoided for any maple in the future?
  7. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    If it is verticillium wilt, you should not put anything back in it's place that is susceptable to VW. VW is a soil borne pathogen and stays there for a long time.

    Another way to tell if it is VW is to cut a branch with a pair of pruners. If the center of the branch cut is black, chances are it's VW.

    Everyone jumped on the VW and root rot bandwagon, but without knowing more, it's hard to say for sure.

    Can you post a picture of the tree? Where on the tree are the dead branches? Top, bottom, side? One dead on the top, one on the bottom, how? What has the weather been like? Excessively dry, wet? How old is the tree? Any recent construction/excavation close to the tree?

    Answer those ???'s and we may be able to narrow it down more..............

  8. neal-wolbertsinc

    neal-wolbertsinc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    Without a sample and diagnosis the root rot issue is just a mystery. I wouldn't guess when a few dollars and a little work will get you an answer. The balance of the landscape may be a target for root rot also. That should be your goal, to protect the rest of the trees and shrubs. Dr. Ribeiro can tell you for sure and, by the way, some root rots are treatable. We've had success in stopping disease with soil drenches of fungicide, mycorrhizae, microbes and micronutrients. Neal
  9. Rollacosta

    Rollacosta LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 331

    ..without pics hard to diagnose ..firstly give the maple a good watering ..secondly a feed it..thirdly spray with fungicide..definatly sounds like fungal prob..we need pics

    TREEGODFATHER LawnSite Member
    Posts: 203

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