Repotting & root pruning a Bloodgood

Pennyloafer

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I was hoping to see some discussion of Verticillium Wilt as I live in an area where there is a lot of it.
I have a Bloodgood in a pot that needs root pruning and I am worried about the wilt getting into it when I do that.
Does anyone use anything in particular to dose the roots with, and use say sterilzed soil... ??

Thank you for your input
 

John P.

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Systemic and foliar spray fungicides? Make sure to not water the leaves when watering the tree?
 

sorce

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Sure you don't mean hope NOT to find!?

Talk means problems with it!

Welcome to Crazy!

Sorce
 

0soyoung

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  • It is a soil borne pathogen.
    • Don't bring in "fill dirt" to your garden/landscape
    • Don't put pruners, saws, etc,, nor your bonsai (2B or 02B) on the ground
      • bonsai on benches
      • tools in your pocket, in your hand, or on elevated work surfaces
  • Interestingly, verticillium is killed in the course of ordinary composting.
    • Don't use stuff that hasn't been composted in your garden/landscape
Sanitize pruners, saws, etc., before use and after any cut of tissue that might be infected and especially a tool that you dropped on the ground.

Verticillium effectively doesn't grow when temp's are above 75F --> it is a spring-time disease.
Verticillium gets into the xylem (wood). Therefore, it progresses upward from its entry point (direction of water flow). It will cause the stem it is in to suddenly die = leaves above suddenly wither, turn brown and dry AND remain attached to the tree (leaf drop is a life process).

Prune an affected branch below the entry point to remove the infection from the tree.
Verticillium appears as dark 'staining' in rings in cross-section in streaks if you split the stem.


IMHO, verticillium is rarely ever the problem. It has been hyped so much that every maple problem is labelled "VERTICILLIUM!!"

In your circumstances, the most likely scenario is a maple in your landscape that you tossed some fill dirt around. Late in summer there are weeds growing around it. You take the weed whacker to them and also nick the bark, introducing verticillium from the (now) weedy fill. The tree continues doing well and does its colorful thing in fall. Next spring the buds pop and its looking beautiful with all its new foliage. And then, about Apr/May, the lowest leaves get droopy and then a few more above that the next day and etc., up the tree. Within a two or three weeks, they are all crispy brown and still hanging on the tree. Since it was nicked at the base of the trunk, there is no possibility of cutting off the infected stem = the tree is dead.
 

Pennyloafer

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Okay, so if the tree is in a pot and is very healthy now and I want to reduce the roots because it is getting quite pot bound, and I am trying to keep it's size in check a bit. (I dug this guy up from a 9 hole golf course that was being left go back to nature and this poor neglected tree was barely alive in the rough tall grass, I saved it ;-) I've had it for 9 years already!! I had no idea it was that long....

So the Verticillium only gets in via the wood? and does not affect roots at all then?
So I should be okay with sterilizing my tools, using a sterile potting mix, and maybe washing all the old dirt off ...

so no dousing with fungicides needed if I read you right.

BTW: you guys are great... I love that there is so much info on the internet now. When I started messing with plant torture there were only books.
Thanks so much for your input
 

0soyoung

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Some varieties of acer palmatum were known to have vulnerable roots, but you found this one growing in the ground and have kept it alive for a decade = it doesn't have verticillium even if it might be susceptible. The rest you understand correctly.

Go forth.
Do what you do.

Post some pix. Folks like to see what others are doing and creating. Me included.
 

Pennyloafer

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I will! I just dug them out of the frozen ground on the weekend and now they are covered with a fresh snowfall!! I am just getting started again, I had a nice collection around 2010, but I ran away to Mexico and left my Bonsai's with someone who showed an interest...but none of them made it. So I have been collection little pines in my local area and have 4 or 5 smallish ones to begin working on. I can't phsyically get the bigger ones, which may be just as well.
 

rodeolthr

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I'm mostly intrigued by the fact that acer palmatum is growing in your area, zone 4b. Even in the ground, they usually need a super protected site in that zone......and it's still a crap-shoot. I'm wondering what sort of winter protection you gave it once it went into the pot.
 

Pennyloafer

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Sorry about the long delay, life and lack of know how in getting Iphone photos to the PC got in the way - it's really easy if you don't make it too complicated!

So here are two pictures of the Bloodgood just having dug it out of the ground from it's winter bed. It is getting too big to transition to my brothers greenhouse but it survived the winter. We push towards zone 5 if you mulch and not let it get too wet in the spring and freeze thaw.

Here are two photos of it in it's new smaller pot. We'll see if it survives the root prune. I took all the dirt off and left it in a pot of water with Thrive in it overnight and there was a layer of ice on it the next morning. That was about 2 weeks ago.

I made up a potting mix from compost from my brothers back yard operation, I cooked in on my barbeque to kill any Vertcillium coming over from his yard, mixed some locally found decomposing wood and some locally found pumice. The pumice is too big, but this is not fine art ;-) It got browsed on by something (deer, bear- didn't see it) 2 years ago.

I did a light prune to the end of branches last fall, but it needs to be cut back quite a bit. It does tend to extend with long internodes so it's going to be leggy no matter what but thinking to take quite a bit off to improve the shape and reduce the size.

Last picture is where I am thinking to prune it.. the top branch is slowly rising up, which maples seem to do.

Any feedback on the prunes appreciated... I am not much of an artist...yet

cheers

Penny
 

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0soyoung

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Congratulations, and ...

Good plan. I think you should cut the branches back even further, ultimately.

However, I suggest that you just let it grow until about August so that it has grown some strong roots. You should see it extend new shoots and leaves and see it seemingly pause around May/June. It will then resume extending growth until Aug/Sep when it will again pause, having completed the second flush. Then you might cut back to a leaf pair. Alternatively, you can just wait until leaf drop and cut back no farther than a clearly visible bud pair before putting it in winter storage. Of course, if you cut in Aug/Sep, you can do this too (I'm unsure of the seasonal pattern in your climate - there may not be a third flush).

Next spring you should have visible buds yet closer to the trunk and you can play the game of cutting back to visible buds to arrive at the branch lengths you want to build on, before it has broken bud in 2021. IOW you could have the foundation of your bonsai set in just one year! But, this will only be possible if you get it growing vigorously - that is your mission.

Enjoy!
 

Pennyloafer

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Just to make sure I understand, are you suggesting I not cut it back at all until about August?

Or are your suggestions about a second cut back in August?

Does iow mean in other words?

I am enjoying this group! Just reading through 5 + years of Mugo Pine torture, I have one!! I will post a pic of soon.... the guys seem to know each other well and have a way of talking to each other that I am having trouble keeping up with.

I also have a a couple of Chamaecyparis that I am quite fond of... they in the green house for the winter.

Thank you!
 

0soyoung

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