What/when should I do about this damaged maple?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Nik, Nov 27, 2020.

  1. Nik

    Nik Rising Contributor

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    I need some advice about this Rhode Island Red which was damaged by a large branch of a fallen birch tree. It happened about 3 months ago when there was a tornado in the area and we got some microbursts at the tail end of it. They uprooted and snapped many large trees in the neighborhood.
    This poor thing had two big and one very large major branches broken by the birch tree. As a result a good portion of the maple is now missing and it looks very misshapen compared to its original nice globular form.
    The first picture is the original damage. The rest are from today, everything is very wet because of rain. The tree and wounds seem fine, I didn’t do anything to it so far. When it is dry, there is no sign of decay in the open wood. I tried to do a “360 view “ of the trunk and the main branches.
    What are your thoughts on what I should do and when I should do it?
    Many thanks in advance for your help!
     

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  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @Nik Good afternoon N, so sorry to hear about your Rhode Island Red, but IMO do not worry. I had my Osakasuki damaged by a large fallen Birch limb in 2019 and it is totally misshapen now. But and here is the but, it is healing itself gradually without any intervention from me.
    Re your wounds, I can see they are healing themselves nicely, so I would leave them for now at least. You don't want to be cutting into the wood at this time of year unless it is dead, diseased or dying, but if you want to tidy the ragged edges I would do this in March and then it has all Spring and Summer to calous over.
    Tbh N, trees with damage and history are more akin to nature than the so called perfect shape, I actually prefer this. (They have a story to tell).
    So 2021 for this Maple will turn out fine, it will produce shoots a plenty to enable you to shape it if you want, although it might take a few seasons to bring it back to the globular form it once had.
    Others might have a different idea, but I hope that has reassured you.
     
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  3. Nik

    Nik Rising Contributor

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    Hi D, thank you, that is reassuring! Here are some photos several hours later, mostly dried up now. Your advice was my first instinct, just let Nature take its course.
    I will try to clean the wounds in the summer.
     

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  4. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @Nik looking at the wounds, just keep an eye on water gathering in the vertical cuts. This could cause a problem, some might say use cutting paste to seal the wound. But in my experience this can lead to sealing in disease.
     
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  5. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Gah - avoid the paste! Looking really good actually, good lip wood growth. The only thing I'd do is use a concave pruner to smooth out the toothy areas in the breaks. Just being careful not to cut in beyond where things are already drying out. It looks like a healthy tree, it will take a couple of years to recover and heal over, and in 10 you wont even see the damage.
     
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  6. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    I agree with the above suggestions, it's healing nicely, it will close the wounds in a couple of years.

    Would you be surprised if I suggested painting the cut with Bordeaux mix ?... ;-)
     
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  7. Nik

    Nik Rising Contributor

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    Thanks for the suggestions, Emery! I have just the right tool and have used it on the same tree a couple of years ago to remove branches that were too close to the ground. The cuts are now completely calloused over. I’ll do it as soon as the sun comes up.
     

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  8. Nik

    Nik Rising Contributor

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    I was thinking about this, Alain!
    Later today I will get some lime sulfur dip from the nearest pet store and give the cuts a coat.
    Is one application sufficient, or should I do it more than once?
    Thanks for your suggestion!!!
     
  9. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    I think that you can apply some now, then put another coat before budbreak. If you use it pure, try not to put some on the living tissues, I think it's not so good.
     
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  10. Nik

    Nik Rising Contributor

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    This is the offending birch tree, to be removed in a couple of weeks. It is like a natural bird feeder, plenty of song birds visiting lately. (We avoid having a bird feeder in the yard because of bears and raccoons.) The roof of the neighbor’s house on one side is also visible.
     

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  11. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Very lucky N not to have suffered more damage. You definatly have a story to tell around the dinner table with that event. Glad nobody was hurt or houses damaged.
     
  12. Nik

    Nik Rising Contributor

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    Hi D, yes, we were lucky. We only had 2 trees downed and many large branches. No damage to the house. Many neighbors had damage to roofs, decks, etc. We had removed the 3 largest trees closest to the house (on the insistence of my husband) earlier in the spring, and I think that saved the day. We decided that with current forecasts for global warming and severe weather, we need to do some more changes in our yard. There will be about 10 very large trees removed from the the property in a couple of weeks (quite costly btw). But we decided it has to be done... our giant tulip poplar is going too. Very depressing.
     
  13. Nik

    Nik Rising Contributor

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    It is here! I had to order it online, because I could not find it in any stores close by.
    The wounds are are all cleaned up now, but I will wait to apply the lime sulfur when the weather it dryer. Tomorrow is supposed to be pouring rain all day long.
    I will use it undiluted, I did some checking and it seems most bonsai people use it that way.
     

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  14. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    That is very sad to hear N, but personal safety has to come before anything else. I am sure you and your husband will create a wonderful new garden out of the clearing of the old trees. As you rightly say we have to evolve with our gardens to adapt to the ever changing environment. Good luck.
     
  15. Nik

    Nik Rising Contributor

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    Here is the end result. I did not have the guts to use it undiluted, so I did 1:10 dilution. But I did apply copious amounts, twice, 20 min apart. I also had to cut into live tissue for the one on the left, and the bottom of the big cut. I hope it will be OK. I will apply again in the early spring before budbreak. This is several hours after application.
     

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  16. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    You have given it every chance N, I can't see any reason in a couple of years you will hardly notice anything happened to it.
     
  17. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hey @Nik , I must have missed a notice about the thread, then a lot of posts went by.

    What's with the Lime-Sulfur? Does it contain copper that I'm not seeing? Lime keeps the copper applied, but I do think copper is needed.

    I often make an argument for pulverizing rather than painting the solution, here it is: When you pulverize, you get micro-droplets in a very fine mist that can penetrate into tiny cracks in the bark (or wood) and offer further protection. Painting on a solution, you may "paint over" these micro-cracks, without actual penetration of the product. Further, this could seal in infection if you use a thick solution. For this reason, I recommend repeated pulverizing, with copper, once every 2 weeks on infections, or less often (your case) prophylactically.
     
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  18. opusoculi

    opusoculi Rising Contributor

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    Cooper is needed, i agree with that. It had be necessary to prevent it from disease just after the branch had bee accidently broken.
    Now, good lip wood is growing, but the internal wood stay exposed for years, not 2 years but perhaps 10 years.
    Long term deterioration will not be due to particulear disease, very common bacteria will destroy the internal woods.
    That will end in necrosis (décomposed woods by commons bacteria ending as a hole).

    Yes, Bordeaux mix will prevent those common bacteria to work; and Lime sulfur not do.
    A dilution 1 cooper product+9 or 1+10 water, will operate. You must imprint seriously with a brush or pulverize. 1+9 is not a thick solution.
    Note: after application, the rain dilute a little part of the cooper product.

    Rather than Bordeaux mix , in France and Europe, arborists use CUPROUS OXIDE whose name is NORDOX; it contains more cooper.
    It is now often sold as 'peach leaf curf’. This norvegian product distributed in Europe is the most effective product we have for 25 years as protection against all kind of bacteriosis, kanker and bacteria, particularly in orchards.
    It dilute with each rain during several month, that is important. Repeat Nordox every 3 month is enough.
    Although amateur gardner, my knowledge, since 50 years, comming from orchard is oriented in pathology .

    After experience, i can also said: all cooper product event when concentrated, don’t burn Acer wood at all,
    nor, they do not burn summer foliage (at the recommanded ordinary dilution, even by very hot temperature; 39° C experienced).
    Acer trees and cultivars are not sensitive to cooper.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
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  19. Nik

    Nik Rising Contributor

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    Hi @emery and @opusoculi , it is the sulfur in the lime sulfur that is the fungicide, bactericide and insecticide. I decided to use it because @AlainK suggested to use Bordeaux mix earlier in the thread, in connection with another recent thread in this forum about Japanese maple bark bleaching. Apparently in Japan and elsewhere most people use lime sulfur to preserve dead wood on bonsai. I decided to try the Japanese method (although I now realize people in France prefer the Bordeaux mix). I suspect/hope the overall effects on dead wood are similar for both methods. Time will tell. Thanks for the suggestions! If this does not work well, I will definitely try the Bordeaux mix.
     
  20. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Yes, I prefer copper-based fungicides, but in Japan bonsai nurseries also use diluted lime sulfur in autumn to disinfect the boards they display their trees on. Now we have spiraling steel stakes for tomatoes, but in the past we used wooden ones. Gardeners would let them soak in a Bordeaux mix mixture and let them dry before using them.

    I think the Japanese use lime sulfur because they can get a lot of sulfur, and some lime too on their islands, but no copper, so it must be more traditional and much cheaper there.
     
  21. Nik

    Nik Rising Contributor

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    I am ashamed to show what I did to this tree about 3 weeks ago... I decided, it’s already damaged, why not experiment. Probably a very bad decision, but it is done. I removed about 70% of the branches and plan to cut the left and right main branches later in the summer.
    The next day after cutting I applied undiluted lime sulfur. I will let you know if it dies or survives.
     

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  22. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    I will be watching with interest N. Looking at it I cannot see why you would lose it. My fingers are crossed for you.
     
  23. Nik

    Nik Rising Contributor

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    Still alive after my experiment.. And wounds look fine.
    Again, I plan to remove the left and the right branches at the beginning of the summer.
    This should produce a dramatic curve in the trunk. The idea is to style the tree into an ‘in the ground bonsai’.
     

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  24. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Good evening N, they are tougher than we often give them credit for tbh.
    Looking at the photos, that is going to be a fun project over the coming months and years.
    I don't know about you, but I do like a bit of, as Alain would say, ' Vive la différence', in our trees. It makes it even more of an interesting hobby IMO.
    Look forward over the years to seeing updates N.

    D
     
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  25. Nik

    Nik Rising Contributor

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    Few more photos.. it’s about 6 pm here now. The branch I want to keep is to the right in the first picture.
     

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