Japanese maples weathering an ice storm

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Otto Bjornson, Jan 7, 2022.

  1. Otto Bjornson

    Otto Bjornson Well-Known Member

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    After over 30 cm of snow the past couple of days we now have had freezing rain for approx 16 hours. the last time we saw this was back in 1996. The large Fireglow in our back garden lost a big branch this morning and the bloodgood is hanging to the ground.
    We transplanted both the fireglow and the bloodgood back in 1993 into the garden when they were already approx 10 years old. It is dead calm right now, just the weight of the ice doing the damage.
    High winds are forecast in the next few hours so it will be lights out and major tree damage coming up.
     

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  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Good evening Otto, I have given you a like for the amazing and wonderful photos, not of course for the damage caused and expected damage that may happen to your lovely trees. Fingers crossed for you.

    D
     
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  3. Otto Bjornson

    Otto Bjornson Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Derek
    I just hope our greenhouse does not collapse as well. My trusted chainsaw will clean up most of the damage once the dust settles, but no desire to rebuild the greenhouse!

    and update** The huge ice sheets slid off the greenhouse with no damage to the poly, what a relief!
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2022
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  4. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    hello Otto — how are things today in the valley ?

    our coast snow melted with a great deal of rain and flood due to frozen ground

    I hope your garden and structures are safe
     
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  5. Otto Bjornson

    Otto Bjornson Well-Known Member

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    Actually we faired very well. The heavy rains that hit the coast were not as bad here. Still lots of snow on the ground. More seasonal temps 4 - 6 C. Could feel that warm sun yesterday and my hand felt like a magnetic trying to reach for my felco's! But will hold off until early febuary.
    One of our oldest maples ( fireglow) got hit hard with a main stock branch collapsing due to the ice storm. I think I will tackle that one with a video and try and capture all the "before" details with images and then prune / cut it back to the respectable show piece it was.
    The tree that was damaged is the large red fireglow in my avatar
     
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  6. Worldly_Wrangler

    Worldly_Wrangler Active Member

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    I just dug a few of mine out today.

    - Taki no Gawa lost 4/5, all branches. Mentioned in a different post.
    - Ash's Scarlet Princess is just demolished. I lost 4/5 of it. only one side branch survived
    - Wako Nishiki. I lose 3/4 of it. All branches lost. Broke at the lower trunk.

    I couldn't dig out the others, but Im not looking forward to it. Still 2' of snow on the ground.
     
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  7. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Just so there's no misunderstanding - a 'like' in these circumstances means 'I sympathise', not 'I enjoy'.
    Everyone who loves maples (among other trees and shrubs) shares the frustration and sorrow you are experiencing in your garden this winter.
     
  8. Worldly_Wrangler

    Worldly_Wrangler Active Member

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    So I dug out all of my maples today. I noticed the weeping dissectums ‘Lemon Like Lace’, ‘Red Dragon’ and ‘Scarlet Princess’ faired the worst.

    Some of the branches were broken but still hanging on with a strip of bark. I might be a little naïve, but I tried gluing a few of those back with super glue. Those branches look nice but I guess I will find out if they will live when the weather warms up.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2022
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  9. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Using parafilm grafting tape would be much better...
     
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  10. Worldly_Wrangler

    Worldly_Wrangler Active Member

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    I am sure of that. Unfortunately, this is a new hobby for me and I haven’t learned how to graft or obtain any of the associated supplies. I’ll order some parafilm for the future.
     
  11. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Plenty of household items could substitute in an emergency and would be fine for occasional use if not quite as good as parafilm. PTFE tape for pipework etc is similar-ish in properties to parafilm. Strips of cling film (saran wrap in the States?) would do at a pinch. Even a fairly stretchy adhesive tape like electrician's tape would do a job. Or cut an elastic band and wrap and tie. Probably a few others too.

    The superglue might work but I have never tried it... I have successfully repaired broken, but still attached by some bark, twigs or small branches with randon tape I had to hand.
     
  12. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    I appreciate these suggestions for trying to rescue broken branches. I used waxed twine but I can tell it's not going to work - difficult enough to try and repair damage just above soil level on a dwarf rhodo and Chamaecyparis obtusa . Fingers crossed using tape instead!
     
  13. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Yes, parafilm is not easily available, but aluminium tape for plumbing for instance can be found in any DIY store. It is sometimes used in bonsai practice as a subsitute for cut paste. It prevents the wound from drying, thus healing is better. You can then double it with copper wire to hold the two parts of the broken branch in place. It's a form of "surgery" :

    1 : aluminium tape
    2 : copper wire, along the branch
    3 : copper wire to maintain 2

    The two parts must not move so the cambium stays alive, like on a graft.
    The branch will stay fragile at that point...

    20220118_10063245.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2022
  14. LoverOfMaples

    LoverOfMaples Generous Contributor Maple Society

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    i also use parafilm for broken/cracked branches. it works great. just a little expensive but worth it. i haven't had any luck with grafting with it. grafting rubberbands seem to do it for me.
     
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  15. Otto Bjornson

    Otto Bjornson Well-Known Member

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    10C, clear and sunny yesterday with more of this weather on the way. So could not resist, I put a brand new chain onto the chain saw and started cleaning up all the fallen branches from the ice storm. I started with the fireglow maple.
    First pic shows the worst damage of a main branch, second pic shows the newly acquired firewood and all the smaller branches cut up in the back ground. 3rd pic show the cut I made with the chainsaw on the tree. I first did a cut approx 1' ( 30cm) away from the main stock just in case there would be any tearing of the exterior bark due to the excessive weight of the wood. Then did the final cut right up against the main stock following the contour of the tree. It will heal naturally. I never cover the wound even on a cut of this size. The rest of the tree ( smaller limbs) will be shaped 2-3 weeks from now.
     

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  16. Worldly_Wrangler

    Worldly_Wrangler Active Member

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    And here I was worrying about the twigs that broke off of my newly planted saplings. Your tree looks great after you cleaned it up Otto.
     
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  17. SimplyJMaples

    SimplyJMaples New Member

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    Yikes, Otto. That is a bummer, to say the least.
     
  18. Otto Bjornson

    Otto Bjornson Well-Known Member

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    All recovered and looking like a spring chicken once again! I am always amazed at how resilient these trees are. They can take such a hit and always come back to reward you with their beauty
     
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