Coral Bark not looking so great

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Aspen21, Jun 18, 2021.

  1. Aspen21

    Aspen21 New Member Maple Society

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    Hello!

    This is my first post after lurking on this board for a couple weeks.

    I have a coral bark maple that’s been planted in the same spot since April of this year. After we received a lot of rain for a couple weeks, I noticed it wasn’t looking very happy. Leaves started to droop. Started noticing the tips of branches turning black..

    Our ground has a substantial amount of clay in it but this initial hole that was dug was amended with just regular ground soil from the store so I figured that would be good enough, maybe not?

    So after I saw that the leaves kept drooping even farther down the branch stems, I decided to dig out the tree and plant it higher by about 3 inches or so.

    As the weeks have gone by more and more leaves are starting to droop and branches are blackening behind them as well. I also noticed when I initially planted the tree that it didn’t seem to have a lot of roots for its size. The roots were originally in a burlap wrapping but I cut that away when I planted it and that’s when I noticed the lack of roots.

    I purchased this tree from a location that offers a year guarantee on trees (Lowe’s). I will also attach some photos of the tree in its current state.

    Should I give it another month or two to see if it will recover or just cut my losses and return it? I’ve applied superthrive to the tree twice so far(1 tsp to a gallon of water), a week apart. This is the first time I’ve had a Japanese Maple be doing great and then all of a sudden take such a drastic turn for the worse. Thanks for any insight! :)
     

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  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Good evening @Aspen21 and welcome to the maples forum. Firstly you say that when you unwrapped the burlap the roots were black. That should not be the case, they should look white and healthy. For that reason alone I would return it for a refund or replacement.
    Next you say you are on substantial amount of clay. Maples hate this and as the drainage will be poor, your tree will stand very little chance of thriving.
    Next you say you amended the planting hole, now this goes against the science. Do have a look at this link by Dr Linda Chalker Scott.

    Building healthy soils?

    I myself have amended my clay soil, but removing tonnes of it over many years. It has been successful, but as I say I have removed lorry loads.

    So to finish, IMO I would take this Coral bark maple back and exchange it for a healthy tree under the terms of the guarantee.

    D
     
  3. Aspen21

    Aspen21 New Member Maple Society

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    Oops sorry for any confusion. The branch tips have been turning black as the leaves droop along with it.. as for the roots, there was what I consider to be a lack of them.
    There’s the main tap root (not sure if that’s the name) and then a couple small ones coming out, but nothing like I’ve seen from even much smaller Japanese maple trees. I’m curious how the tree was so large with such a lack of a good root system.
    Thanks for the reply and the information! I’m pretty bummed about this tree and was hoping I could save it but it’s not looking good. :(
     
  4. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Sadly sometimes trees die. Do not beat yourself up about it. It happens to the most experienced of collectors. The good thing is you have a guarantee and can replace it with a healthy Coral bark maple.
    I feel that your purchase was suffering from root rot before you brought it home.

    D
     
    emery and maf like this.
  5. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Don't throw it away : there's still a small chance it might survive : if ever new leaves appear, prune the rest of the tree and apply Bordeaux mix, or a copper-based fungicide.
     

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