Who gets the lead pill?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by maplesandpaws, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    I found this when I checked on my Nuresagi 'planted' in the front bed (still in a Dirt Bag, it's showing the stress of the heatwave); wasn't like that yesterday, and we have both squirrels and rabbits. Since I've not had any of my small maples in the ground before, I'm not sure who to blame for the damage. I know the tree will make it, but I'm still ticked off; though small, it had a nice shape to it already.

    Should I cut off the branch that's been nearly gnawed through, or just put some cut paste on it (or nothing?) and hope it doesn't die? What is the best way to prevent this from happening again? My Moonfire, about the same size, is also planted in this bed just a few feet down, and it's fine, as are the three azaleas and two hostas.

    I appreciate any and all suggestions. Thanks!
     

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Put wire fencing around it.
     
  3. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    Definitely a solution I'm considering - 1" chicken wire should work, right? How much taller than the tree (about 1') should the fencing be, and would I need to put a 'top' on the cage too? However, since this tree is currently located in the raised bed in front of the house, I was hoping for a less obvious/ugle deterrent... Does it look more like rabbit or squirrel damage?
     
  4. Houzi

    Houzi Active Member 10 Years

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    Tellya what....I don't suppose it is as it's probably quite thick old growth I'm seeing here,but it looks exactly like the snail damage I'm currently getting here on younger growth,especially that chewed off to a taper bit.
     
  5. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    That's definitely a culprit I hadn't considered, but thinking about it now, it makes a lot of sense. The branches that were chewed are not thick at all, maybe a pencil lead or so in diameter, so for a rabbit or squirrel to be that careful in nibbling would be quite the feat. And we do have a lot of snails and slugs around; a couple of hosta leaves just a couple feet down from my Nuresagi were chewed on the other night/day too, so maybe it's the same culprit. Is there anything that works well in deterring snails and slugs?
     
  6. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I had thought rabbit, but maybe could be snails.

    I don't know what they're like in Kansas this year, but over here the snails (and slugs) are incredible this year, I've never seen anything like it. I lost around 40 young seedlings to them at the end of the winter, and since then they have been voraciously attacking just about every maple I have. They climb several meters into some trees. I imagine it's the same, or even worse for Houzi.

    BTW Houzi I hope your garden isn't getting the worst of the flooding. 5 inches in East Devon the day before yesterday! Those are some pretty difficult gardening conditions...

    The only thing to do with snails is to keep them in check with pellets. Try and get the kind (is it ferrous? can't remember) that doesn't bother the birds.

    Yesterday during a break in the rain I gathered some raspberries from an area I haven't treated, there were around 5 snails on each stalk clinging to the undersides of leaves.
     
  7. JT1

    JT1 Contributor 10 Years

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    Bonide Slug Magic is the best product I found after trying several. It's amazing how well it works. If you want a safer and cheaper approach, then beer is the answer. Get a small plastic cup, dig a hole deep enough so that the rim of the cup is in line with the surrounding mulch. Backfill around the cup so the top is inline with the surface. Fill with some beer about an inch from the top. Overnight it will be filled with dead slugs. They love beer and get drunk and fall into the cup.
     
  8. Houzi

    Houzi Active Member 10 Years

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    ....ha ha JT1,what a way to go!
    Sorry Andrea,I assumed as rodents were under suspicion,the tree was bigger than it actually is.You'll probably see slug traffic and tell tale curly slug pooh in the vicinity if it hasn't got wet.
    Thanks for the concern Emery,infact in the SE we've been extremely lucky and avoided the floods seen up&down the country so far,though it's been raining most days(another wettest month record broken I think)I'm afraid this is the shape of things to come as the planet warms up.
    I must admit I didn't realise snails&slugs attacked maples until recently.I was noticing dead ends to branches.I thought at first it was die back but then noticed how they were often tapered to a point.Anyway the rain has sure brought them out in force.I used slug pellets but did feel guilty afterwards looking at the shear carnage left behind.I've now raised the young grafts on awkward to climb trays as I don't really want to keep using the pellets.....every creature supports another :)
     
  9. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Beer is a good solution for a small garden, but impractical otherwise, unfortunately. I'm not in love with the pellets, but the new kind at least doesn't poison the birds, and judging from the number of hedgehogs around there's plenty to eat no matter what I do...

    Houzi glad to hear you're not flooded like so many... Funny thing about all this rain is that the last 10 years we've had drought springs and rainy summers, the rainy spring is sort of back to normal for Normandy. But it's true the volume is pretty impressive. Oddly many of the maples (but not all) have been very pleased with the wet, with lusher and longer growth than for many a year.

    BTW Houzi, your graft in the other thread looked gorgeous, really well done.
     
  10. Houzi

    Houzi Active Member 10 Years

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    Cheers again Emery,I agree the rain has done wonders for the maples,especially in-ground.Infact as a result I have dramatically increased my watering(when not raining)as up until now I've erred on the dry side because of losing a few to overwatering in early spring over the years....they seem to like it.
    Back on subject,I've noticed many tiny tiny little snails sneaking about if I look close enough....must've been a shade too late with the pellets lol.
     
  11. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    I may have another potential culprit to add to my list of suspects - grasshoppers. We don't have too many, but with the hot dry weather, they are a little more prevalent than they would be otherwise. When I went out to water the other morning, a pretty large hopper was hanging out on my Hana matoi; I didn't see any damage, thank goodness, but I'm sure a maple would be a nice snack for these guys...
     

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