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  • Results 1 to 16 of 16

    Thread: Japanese Coral Bark Maple turning colors

    1. #1
      stevek's Avatar
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      Japanese Coral Bark Maple turning colors

      I have many Japanese maples of various varieties growing in my Zone 6 yard and all are thriving. Never had an issue with any of them as far as insects or disease.
      Now I've got a serious issue with one of my 4 coral bark maples. It has been growing like crazy for the last 8 years or so, but suddenly a couple weeks back started turning its fall color ( yellow ) . It is beautiful, but it's way too early for fall color.
      The most troubling factor is that one small branch got shriveled up leaves and appeared dead. Now other branches seem to be quickly headed in that direction. All leaves have turned fall color, so it may be that the whole tree will be dead soon. The other coral barks are within 50 feet and are perfectly normal.
      In doing some quick research, it appears it may be a disease called verticillium wilt which has no cure, and will probably kill the tree. Has anyone run into this disease and have any suggestions ?

    2. #2
      ponyboy2442 is offline Senior Member
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      I just lost my coral bark same thing bright yellow for two weeks then leaves brown and dead tree
      My issues was too much water found a leaking sprinkler and tree was sitting in water

    3. #3
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      I have had some success cutting off all the affected branches. I've saved two and lost one. So it's worth a try.


    4. #4
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      I've given up on Japanese maples here. The coral bark is my favorite variety of Japanese maple though. This past winter would have killed the hardiest varieties if I had any. Tiger eye sumac and black lace elders are my substitutes for them and they're beautiful planted together.

      clm
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    5. #5
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      Must be a striking contrast.

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    6. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by stevek View Post
      I have many Japanese maples of various varieties growing in my Zone 6 yard and all are thriving. Never had an issue with any of them as far as insects or disease.
      Now I've got a serious issue with one of my 4 coral bark maples. It has been growing like crazy for the last 8 years or so, but suddenly a couple weeks back started turning its fall color ( yellow ) . It is beautiful, but it's way too early for fall color.
      The most troubling factor is that one small branch got shriveled up leaves and appeared dead. Now other branches seem to be quickly headed in that direction. All leaves have turned fall color, so it may be that the whole tree will be dead soon. The other coral barks are within 50 feet and are perfectly normal.
      In doing some quick research, it appears it may be a disease called verticillium wilt which has no cure, and will probably kill the tree. Has anyone run into this disease and have any suggestions ?
      Quote Originally Posted by ponyboy2442 View Post
      I just lost my coral bark same thing bright yellow for two weeks then leaves brown and dead tree
      My issues was too much water found a leaking sprinkler and tree was sitting in water
      Not positive I had what you're experiencing, but the same results occurred. Mine was a standard Acer and graced the backdrop for my waterfall for over 20 years! It was roughly 15' tall and approx 20' wide with a 12+" trunk. After mine died, my neighbors Sango Kaku (coral bark) started doing the same thing at the end of last summer/fall. I tried to warn them and suggest they call in an arborist, but it fell on deaf ears and theirs died in spring of this year. All the other maples within the yard are fine other than a bit of "tip burn" due to are very hot current weather conditions.

      I too thought maybe it was root rot, as one of my filter circuits is housed directly behind the waterfall and next to this tree. I checked for potential leaks and found none. I also haven't had any sprinklers or such watering the area there, so the trees have been living on nothing but ground water for the last 4-5 years. If you can cut affecting branches off and the tree recovers, I've been told that it is usually "blight" conditions that were the cause.
      Mike

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    7. #7
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      Unfortunately, it's not looking too good. About a third of the tree is now going from yellow to red to shriveled up dead leaves, and the other 2/3 is totally yellow and looks like it will turn red. At this rate, it will probably be dead in 2 weeks.
      I don't see any environmental causes- no spraying in the area or extended rain or drought. Everything else is growing normally. There is an underground lawn sprinkler line nearby, but I don't see any leaks or wet spots on the lawn.
      I have noticed over the last few years that the main trunk on the north side of the tree has had some bark splitting above the graft, so I don't know if this is related or not. Maybe a disease got in through the bark split...
      This tree has grown much faster than any other one I have, so maybe there is an issue caused with incompatibility of the grafted coral bark and the underlying root stock. Perhaps the root stock is causing it to grow faster than the coral bark can handle....

    8. #8
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      Stevek, I'm afraid you probably already found the answer,

      it may be a disease called verticillium wilt which has no cure, and will probably kill the tree
      And Mike, it sounds like you and your neighbor's trees may have had it too.

      It's a fungus in the soil, some areas have it, some don't. You can even have the pathogen in some parts of the yard and not other areas. It does tend to attack weakened trees, and often it just takes a small break in the surface of a root for it to invade the tree. Which is why you'll often hear advice to not cultivate, dig around or plant anything else under a Japanese Maple. That activity can damage the root hairs which can then let the fungus in if it's in your soil. But it can sometimes also invade through a surface wound, as the spores can become air borne.

      Verticillium Wilt fungus ends up clogging the vascular tubes of parts of the tree, which is why you'll see die-back of limbs. A tree can live with it for many years, especially if it gets good conditions for it, but eventually it will die. When it finally invades the main trunk, the disease will sooner or later girdle the trunk and then that's it. Brutally disappointing disease.

      Here's a couple of good articles explaining in more detail;

      http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_20752864/master-gardener-verticillium-wilt-threatens-japanese-maples
      http://homeguides.sfgate.com/vertici...les-68040.html
      Last edited by BarbJ; 07-28-2014 at 07:44 PM.
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    9. #9
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      Barb

      Can this disease also cause damage to something like a Hollywood Juniper? I lost one several years ago and then another right around the same time as the maple die-off.
      Can anything be done to eradicate it from the soil in that area?
      Mike

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    10. #10
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      Junipers are apparently fairly resistant to Verticillium Wilt, but they are pretty susceptible to Phytophthora root rot, another kind of fungus. So it was probably just a coincidence that they both died at the same time. But stress can bring on both, so there may have been a similar stress that caused them to become susceptible to root invasions at the same time.

      You can use copper or AgriFos to prevent Phytophthora from getting into a plant, but fungicides aren't very effective once a plant is infected. Most fungicides can only prevent. But I've heard Agrifos can sometimes keep it from getting worse.

      I've also read that you can treat soil for verticillium wilt but it's only effective right where you treat the soil, if and when the plants roots extend beyond the treated area, they'll be susceptible to infection then. It may only be practical in containers, I think.
      Regards,BarbJ
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    11. #11
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      Did you happen to water the trees with filter water? I decided to take some of the back flush from my S&G filter and put it on my plants and trees. Apparently that wasn't a good idea as there was too much Nitrogen in the water from fish waste and it did a number on my plants and small trees. Just a thought.

    12. #12
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      If it is verticulum wilt, there is not much you can do. Some say prune affected limbs. Normal control is through whole field soil fumigation for crops. There are other 'wilts' that show similar symptons and may respond to systemic fungicides. May be worth applying a spray if it is not near your pond.

    13. #13
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      Since all branches have turned colors, I'm assuming it's too late to try a spray. Here's a pic from this morning, showing the color changes. I've already removed one smaller branch on the bottom right that was the first to die back. The tree should be a uniform green at this point in the season.
      Attached Images Attached Images  

    14. #14
      samuraifish is offline Member
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      How has your tree made out? Do you have a close up of what the leaves look like. This year I have had problems with my amur maples. One experienced severe dieback, and the others, the leaves are very pale. Mine look like iron chlorisis.

      Chance

    15. #15
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      The tree didn't make it. Every branch was affected, and I had to take down the entire tree last year. That was a project in itself ! Couldn't believe how big the root system was. Since I have some buried electrical and water lines in the immediate area, I didn't want to bring in any big equipment to take out the roots,. I hand cut all the side roots, and then tied the main root ball to my truck . Broke the rope once, but finally got it out in one piece. I decided to plant a shrub there instead of a new maple, in case the pathogen is in the dirt.

    16. #16
      dragonfly1976 is offline Senior Member
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      I’m just over the border in Niagara Falls and my Japanese maples do quite well here. I had the same problem with one a couple years back and I really thought it was going to die on me. A friend suggested I try a product called Save-A-Tree fertilizer on it. I poured out the gallon of black syrup around it and hoped for the best. The tree came right back the next spring and has done well ever since. It truly is a miracle product. I’m not sure what’s in the stuff but it works. As an alternative to Japanese maple for those in colder areas, try finding a Korean maple. They are much hardier than Japanese maples and are just as beautiful.

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