3y Field grown tridents-help needed

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#1
Hello all!

20 months ago I started a project planting 30 trident maple seedlings. I planted all of them after passing the roots through a 1.2cm hole in the middle of a plastic plate. The pictures describe the process:













Fast forward 15 months:





















And as of today:





The problem:

4 died during this period. All of them had symptoms of leaf decoloration (chlorosis?). Now most of the trees are affected:





I have already poured ~8kg of Sulphur round their roots last year and another 5kg just yesterday. Is there something else I should do? I live in Central Greece, zone 9b.

Thank you in advance for your time and help!

Kostas
 

AlainK

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#3
It could be sulphur deficiency, but if you have already poured 13 K of sulphur and the symptoms are still here, there must be something else.

Try some fertilizer that contains chelated iron and magnesium, the kind used for azaleas for instance, it helps various elements to be absorbed by the plants. It would be a pity to lose trees with such a spectacular development in such a short period of time.
 
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#4
It could be sulphur deficiency, but if you have already poured 13 K of sulphur and the symptoms are still here, there must be something else.

Try some fertilizer that contains chelated iron.
Ya, maybe chlorosis.
 

Dav4

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#5
Here in the US, we can have our soil analyzed for deficiencies. Perhaps, you can find a similar service near you. If you're planning on continuing to grow these trees in the ground, I would seek the analysis instead of guessing.
 

Saizan

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#6
That's massive growing for 20 months!

I don't know how is your water there, but if it's similar to mediterranean part of Spain (quite hard and full of CaCO3), this type of water incresases the probabilities of iron deficiences. I had the same problem with tridents, and solucionated adding iron chelates to the trees.
 

JudyB

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#7
Could you lift then and get them into trainers, so you can control the substrate they're in if this is a soil problem?
 

AlainK

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#8
I don't know how is your water there, but if it's similar to mediterranean part of Spain (quite hard and full of CaCO3), this type of water incresases the probabilities of iron deficiences. I had the same problem with tridents, and solucionated adding iron chelates to the trees.
Hear, hear, Kostas!

The walls I can see in the sixth picture of your first post are obviously some limestone of a sort:



If so, so sulphur is of little help.

As "Saizan" wrote, chelated iron would be more beneficial I think.

Sulphur (or sulfate ammonium) is essentially used in countries with a volcanic soil. From what I saw from your pictures, it's not the case where you live, so you chose the wrong solution to a real problem, chlorosis. But chlorosis is a symptom of various mineral deficiencies, here, it's probably magnesium that the soil lacks: chelated iron can probably fix it. Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) can also be a good solution, but if the iron in the soil is inefficient, you can add kilos of minerals to the soil, they won't be taken by the plant. I can't lecture you on how the chemistry of these various elements work, but it has been documented by specialists for decades.

Whatever (because it's very difficult to make a diagnosis just from photos), the best is to apply chelated iron (and magnesium) just before budbreak, then every two or three weeks after.

My 2 € cents.

Alain
 

AlainK

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#9


To me, calcareous clay soil

Could you lift then and get them into trainers, so you can control the substrate they're in if this is a soil problem?
Yes, I think that's what you should do Kostas ;)

Maples are not olive trees. There, in Greece, you can get pretty good Acer buergerianum, but not with exactly the same conditions and the same soil requirements...
 
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#11
Kostas,

All good advice above and AlainK has you on the right track with mineral deficiencies and remedies.
Given your climate, I assume you water often and can't rely on much rain. I'd also like to reinforce Saizan's point on your water chemistry (likely hard, with high Akalinity). If you get water from a city source they may be able to get you a water report which you can compare to online references for horticultural guidelines. If you use your own well water, you can get the general properties using various test kits, maybe available where swimming pool supplies are sold.

Going to container growing with a good draining mix will solve some problems, since you will be flushing it with each watering and repotting occasionally. But it is still important to know what is in your water.

As an example, I have moderately hard water with elevated calcium and magnesium. But it is not hard enough that I need to treat the water. I just don't add any extra (outside of my normal micronutrient fertilizers).

Don't get discouraged on ground growing, especially since you saw such great growth rates. Just remedy the soil deficiencies as best you can and realize that you'll be finishing the trees in containers anyway for that short internode growth.

Cheers!
 

AlainK

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#12
Γεια σου Κώστα,

It is interesting how the roots circled the lip on the bottom of the plate
Given your climate, I assume you water often and can't rely on much rain.
The plate has a rim: to me, the water gathers there, in the sort of "underground pool" created by rain, or watering.

It may seem negligible, unimportant, but in mediterranean climates where days can be very hot and dry, I think it plays an important part...
 
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#13
Thank you all for your informative comments! I really couldn't ask for more.

I have applied approx 3-4kg of chelated iron to the roots and leaves. Next application will be at bud break.

Up next comes the trunk chop treatment together with root trimming in December/January. I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Let's hope for the best!
 
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#15
Hello and merry Christmas! It is time for a holiday update!
I have good and (very) bad news :-\

This winter was the time to dig up all the tridents and work the root base. So the trunk was chopped off at ~ 10cm from the surface, the trees were dug up and the outcome of the plate to the roots became obvious. I had a pretty good result in some trees (~6-10 out of 25), something like this:











The rim on the downside of the plate made the roots go round and round. This destroyed many otherwise well developed root systems.



This is the tree depicted in the 2nd picture of the thread. You can see that the new roots it developed were just above the old ones. It didn't develop any roots on the other side. It is very difficult for a tree to grow roots or branches at a previously not active side of the trunk. I tried to scar the bare side nonetheless:





I made quite a lot of hardwood cuttings. I plan on experimenting in different propagation techniques (immediate planting in soil, storing below ground until April, planting in coarse sand etc). Please excuse the messy background







And now for the bad news. Most of the trees show patches of darker bark. One had some dead tiny branches at the apex too. A pomegranate tree just next to the acers also had some darker branches. Please tell me it's not what I suspect it is:







PS: I made all the trunk chops without sterilizing my saw, before realizing the problem.
 

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