help sick ilex

mersino

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Fungus or no? i bought this from a retailer. They had it indoors, now i have it outside. Could it be going through shock? It does seem to have white powdery substance on some of the leaves maybe some sort of fungus? Any ideas?
 

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jk_lewis

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That looks like Ilex vomitoria, Youpon holly. It should never have been inside, and that is likely what it is suffering from. Keep it outside, full sun, and do not overwater while it is doing poorly. They're tough.

Eventually you may want to get rid of the 2 right hand branches. Or, the entire right side of the tree if you want a smaller tree with a really fat trunk.
 

mersino

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Thank you jkl! will do, i have looked at this tree forever. I just could't go through will cutting, but your totally right. will update
 

sfhellwig

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Last winter I had a Dwarf Yaupon that didn't take the winter so well. It lost nearly all of it's leaves. I was very concerned for the welfare of the plant. It took time but came back entirely with a full flush of growth during the summer. I would never even know anything had happened to it. Hope yours recovers.
 

mersino

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do you think i should wait till it starts healing b4 chopping the right side? or is the condition good enough to trim.
 

jk_lewis

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do you think i should wait till it starts healing b4 chopping the right side? or is the condition good enough to trim.

I think I'd wait. If it is already stressed, there is absolutely no sense on giving it more stress. It will need what leaves it has to keep the roots working.

SFhelwig . . . Kansas is WELL out of the Youpon holly's normal range (Southeastern coastal plain). I moved mine from north Florida here to the Blue Ridge foothills in western NC, and it does NOT like even our winters. This year was especially stresseful and it lost all foliage. It is re-growing leaves, but we're expecting more subfreezing weather (16F) next week, so I'll have to bring it in for a night or two.

Before and after.
 

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sfhellwig

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Yep, that's about what mine did except it was completely un-worked in a nursery container buried half way into the ground. And it held it's leaves all winter until it started to warm. Then it turned brown and the leaves just fell off any time you brushed near it. This year it is still in the same container due to recovery but is in a small plastic cold "hut" with many first year seedlings. I checked them a week or so ago and it's perimeter leaves were drying a bit. I'm crossing my fingers that it doesn't repeat defoliation or I may have to give up on this being a bonsai.

I bought it because it was on the shelf at a local store. I have since learned to check the tag on EVERYTHING regardless. I believe I ended up reading Zone 7. That's not too big of a zonal push but in the future I believe I will have to go to a minimum temp controlled cold frame as my collection expands. Leaving things out and getting die-back will only work for so long. After last year's "incident" I also started to notice that these are used in the landscape here but look terrible after winter.

I like the idea of reducing it down to a super fat tree. You could build the height back a little while bringing the apex back towards center. These plants don't run terribly but when in growth they will shoot rays. Nothing like a pyra but I would keep the clippers and/or wire close at hand.
 

mersino

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ouch

so there has been no improvement since the last post. there is not one single alive leave. im not sure what to do. i would love to save it but there is no sign of life
 

sfhellwig

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Unless you are really tight on space and need it to move on, give it a few more weeks at least. We are just coming into the time where things are waking up and showing signs of life. I have some cuttings I was certain were dead but they appear to be swelling their buds again. I also have a Euonymous Manhattan that was nearly girdled. As I was about to "recycle" it I noticed a single bud swelling up on a branch. I don't think holly are real good at showing their buds swelling, they show up very suddenly. At least a few more weeks. Once you see signs of the twigs drying out, then you can toss it.
 

jk_lewis

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Leave it alone! It will recover or not, but it may take its own sweet time about it. Remember, though, when it is ill it will NOT want a lot of water. Let the soil go dry thoughout the pot bfore watering.
 

rockm

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I've learned to not throw anything out that appears dead until Memorial Day, at least. I've had trees sulk well into June with no signs of life, only to discover green buds when I've got them in my hand to throw on the woodpile.


Be patient. Keep it moist--not soggy. Let it be.
 

pjkatich

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Hey mersino,

Have you bumped it out of the pot and checked the roots yet?

I have a number of these plants growing as bonsai and they are fairly hardy characters.

From the looks of the first set of photos, this tree may have dried out completely not long before you got it. This can happen fast if the plant is root bound.

Regards,
Paul
 

mersino

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to pjkatich thank you for the reply, actually i bumped it out a few days ago. It wasn't root bound but it did seem very hard and compact. The soil doesn't seem to be draining like it is supposed to either. However i'm scared that if its not dead now, an emergency repot will push it over the edge. Thoughts?
 
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pjkatich

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to pjkatich thank you for the reply, actually i bumped it out a few days ago. It wasn't root bound but it did seem very hard and compact. The soil doesn't seem to be draining like it is supposed to either. However i'm scared that if its not dead now, an emergency repot will push it over the edge. Thoughts?

Hard and compact soil is not good.

Is it bonsai soil or nursery soil?

I see that you are down in the Tampa area. Your ilex should be very active at this point in time.

Mine are starting to flower now and a few are pushing loads of new growth.

Do you see any white tips on the roots? This would be a positive sign.

If you do, I would soak the root ball very well and replant the tree in a slightly larger pot with some fresh soil. Put some moss over the top of the soil, place the tree in the shade and cross your fingers.

I hope this helps.

Regards,
Paul
 

mersino

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well i performed an emergency repot. fingers crossed
 

jk_lewis

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Alas, mine seems to have died. Bummer!
 

mersino

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well it died.......:(. but i happen to have a very nice and understanding dealer who gave me this beauty for free! Thoughts?
 

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milehigh_7

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I've learned to not throw anything out that appears dead until Memorial Day...

LOL I was just thinking this! It has turned out to be good advice the last few years. :D
 

milehigh_7

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Well they do really good here in Las Vegas, so... I will pay for shipping and you can just send it out west! ;)
 

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