Cork Japanese Maple burnt

tnaz71

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I have a medium sized cork maple that has been doing very well till today. I got home from work & it looked as if it was caught on fire. The leaves were black & the whole tree was wilted beyond belief. Weird thing is yesterday It was perfectly fine... I checked the tree it still appears to be alive so hopefull it will bounce back. It's odd I have owned this maple for about the last 15yrs and never had anything like this happen before.

Now the weather was great today! It was partly cloudy, humid, was hot but not as hot as it has been, and slightly windy. Nothing in my eyes to cause this. I have all my japanese maples on one bench & this is the only one that ended up like this. I doubt someone came in and did it. They are hidden under shade cloth with much easier ones to be had if someone felt the need. So it had to just be something with the tree itself.

It was watered last night & actually was still moist when I checked it this afternoon. It's not in a bonsai pot yet, been trying to gain some size on the trunk so it's in a cut down 5 gallon nursery pot. Was just repotted this spring, so soil is good, drains quick but holds moisture. I see no bugs in sight, & I pulled from the pot a bit to see if root rot or bugs in the soil I saw nothing & roots look healthy from what I could see.

I cut all the leaves off, shortened the branches a bit & am praying that it makes it.

I didn't take any pictures, was too aggravated at the time & didnt think of it.


Anyone ever had something like this happen? I just want to prevent it from happening again to another one.
 

JTGJr25

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That is extremely strange and makes not sense at all. It sounds literally as though someone sprayed just that one tree with a weed killer. I know you said thats not likely but maybe something was accidentally spilled in the pot? I'm no bug or disease expert but I've never heard of either that could do this. Does anyone else have contact with them when your not there? Maybe someone spilled something by accident.


Tom
 

mcpesq817

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Could it be a fungal issue? Are the branches/trunk turning black? I lost a JM last year that had something similar happen to it. Unfortunately once it started showing those symptoms, it went downhill fast :(
 

rockm

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There is a disease called verticillium wilt that can dieback like your describing. If the tree was recently acquired from a nursery, it might have brought the problem with it.

However, I'd be more suspect of local conditions -- ie, it accidentally got sprayed with something, a cat or dog relieved itself in the soil...The sudden onset makes those kinds of thing most likely. Plants don't usually just suddenly collapse and turn black in 24 hours without some kind of external trauma...
 

tnaz71

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The bench is about 3ft off the ground, so it would have to be a huge dog! lol. It could possibly be a cat, we have lots of cats around my neighborhood. I have them in a shade cloth tent so to speak due to the hot weather we get here. None of the branches looked abnormal or have any discoloration.

Right now it's just a sitck in a pot so not much to see but I will get a picture later. I am thinking that I should probably try and repot, if it was something that was put in the soil to cause this then I am thinking that it is still there causing damage, if there is anything left to damage.

I know it will be risky but if there is poison or something in the soil it is probably more risky to leave it.

The quick timing & the leaves are what got me, they honestly looked like they were on fire. Black & burnt. Not all were like this some were just dry like it hadn't been watered for weeks.
 

Dav4

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I'm betting something damaged/killed the roots...could be infectious or chemical in nature (this is how herbicides like roundup work), but will be hard to fully diagnose. Sorry, 15 years is a long time to have a potted tree, and then have it die unexpectedly.
 

tnaz71

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Well a mini update on this, I went ahead and figured I would repot it just incase some kind of chemical was put in it. The roots appeared healthy. I didn't cut any off & as careful as I could I washed all the old soil off. I stuck it in a smaller pot & now is praying I see some buds popping soon. Not much I can do but wait now.
 
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me just personally, I have had very few plants in shock, survive a repot as well... (if any???) I know there will be someone out there, that would have suggested you do so... Even if there was something in the soil, one would think that there would be a more gradual decline in the trees overall condition... Leads me to believe that like some of the other posts have said, that something along the lines of lack of water, urine, etc.
Hey, do you live near the airport ??? One day I went out to find and oil sheen floating on my pool... turns out they had rerouted the planes that week and the fuel being dumped before landing, that is suppose to disspate, obviously had not...
 
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oh, by the way I hope your plant survives, please keep us informed...
 

tnaz71

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Yeah I live within 5miles or so from a airport. And yeah, I have had a very limited amount of plants survive from a traumatic event such as this. I have never tried to repot just try to nurse them back. I figured it is probably already dead, so if something was put in the soil then maybe, just maybe I would get lucky this time around. Not usually the case in my life but hey It could happen haha.

It's weird though because the bench I have these maples on is very crowded. If something got put in/on the soil or on the plant it would have effected the ones around it. I have seedlings packed under the bench as well. I have lets say a extreme lack of room & too many plants so the ones that I have just growing out, I tend to have to keep them fairly close to each other.

It was either a lucky shot with whatever got in it & luck that nothing else got effected or the tree just decided to commit suicide. lol.
 
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