seedling wilt fungicide tips

grizzlywon

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So, I am now the proud owner of a few thousand maple seedlings that I planted out this Spring. 4 varieties to be specific. They were doing great until about two weeks ago when 10% of my green maples wilted and died off. (more since then) Then more and more varieties are now wilting and dieing off. I found out from a friend, that they were wilting due to a fungus. He suggested I use a fungicide. Here is my question.

For those of you who grow maples from seed and know from experience, what fungicide should I use and how often do you apply it? Can i get it at Lowes or Home Depot? Any homemade alternatives?

Here is what their growing conditions are. Full sun about half the day. In lava, with a little humus on the top layer. I water once a day, but just set up a sprinkler system so I can do it twice a day if needed. Summer will be at least 110 where I live.

Thanks in advance.
 
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grizzlywon

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Here are some pics, I know how much we all like the visual!

I just read that you are not to plan them so tightly like I did in the first Pic. I literally threw about a pound of seeds in half my seed bed. These I don't mind that much and the other varieties are spread a lot thinner. Tridents, Amur and Red maples are all a fraction of this in density, but they are not dieing off.

ALso, this pic was taken in the rain, so the soil is really wet.
 

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mapleman77

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Hi,
I think that your problem of damping off may be more of a spacing issue than a soil/other root problem. Fungicide may be useful; I'm not sure. I just planted around 60 Cedars about a month ago and made sure to space them enough so that they would not be cramped, and, in times of extreme moisture, rot. In essence, I think that your dying off problem is caused because the seeds were planted too closely together (should I say thrown too closely together LOL?) ;)

Hope that this helps. I personally have never had this problem, I guess that I'm lucky, but I hope that you are able to save your seedlings!

David
 

emorrin

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I have been using a copper based fungicide and have had not fungus issues so far with my seeldings. I spray them with it approximately every few waterings.
 

FrankP999

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I use Physan-20 fungicide for damping off. Crowded plants and wet foliage (with too frequent watering the foliage never gets dry) will contribute greatly to the problems.

If these were mine, I would transplant them with better spacing then spray with Physan 20. I would omit the humus layer and just use lava or turface.

I have some trident seedlings doing great in 100% turface in a seed flat like yours but spaced much farther apart. You don't say where you are from, but I am in Georgia where summer high temps will be 100. I will move my flats to partial shade when summer's brutal temps arrive.

I hope you can save them. Good luck

Frank
 
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grizzlywon

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I bought some fungicide. Diluted it and sprayed today. We will see. FYI, the green maples are the only ones I planted in cramped conditions. The others are not at all cramped, in fact, the tridents have lots of room. It must have been just too much moisture? Plus, I didn't pre-treat them.
 

grizzlywon

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I just found this that makes me think that the cramped space is a none issue. (see photo below) While I'm not saying that it doesn't maybe add to the chances of wilt. I think I just needed to spay these guys and I didn't! Live and learn.

This is a guy that does it for a living, and his are closer than mine.

Maybe I'll contact him and ask the secret to keeping them safe?

http://www.kaedebonsai.com/Seedlingsforsale.html

I sent Matt an email, we will see what he says.
 

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grizzlywon

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I got an email back from Matt and here is what he said.

Hey Brett,

I know exactly what your talking about, its called 'damp off' and its very common when growing seedlings.
Honestly, over the 10 years I have grown seedlings there is nothing really to treat it with. I am sure there is some sort of fungicide that may help or cease the spread, but what I do is simply pull out the infected ones and hope for the best.
This year, I had one whole pot of Japanese maples damp off while the pot next to it is growing very strong with no ill effects.

Hope this helps, sorry I don't really have any true advice, all I can offer is that you always want to buy much more seed that what you think you need. Between damp off, bugs, birds, and other woodland critters, the strongest will survive.

I sow 300,000 plus seeds a year, so a little loss isn't bad. Buy more than what you need next year and hope for the best.

Oh, and the damp off will stop after the seedlings have their first 2-3 sets of leaves. Dampoff really only happens during the time is has the 2 oblong leaves that drop off as soon as the maple leaves push out.

take care,

Matt

Now I know, this might just be like starting another "does supertrive work?" thread," but what do you guys think, do you agree?




I tend to trust a guy who had the 10 years and experience to back it up. Needless to say, I treated with a fungicide to see if it would help.
 

bonhe

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Just an update. I have had a few more die off to wilt. Just a few more Green Maples. I have too many to begin with anyway. The rest are about 4-5" high and growing fast.
What time do you water your seedling? Bonhe
 

bonhe

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I wonder if their environment is too humid and no direct sunlight. Those are good place for fungal disease. Bonhe
 

grizzlywon

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They are planted on the west side of my yard against the fence. They do get direct sunlight about 4-5 hours a day. I just put some shade cloth over them about a month ago.

I could be that they are too humid? I have also cut back on the watering time. It's just hard since I have them on a line that also waters my blackberries. (that need a lot of water). My berries are pretty much all gone (eaten or frozen) so I can cut back more.

I need to just bite the bullet and put in another valve. For these guys. If your wondering, I water all my other trees by hand.
 

bonhe

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I wonder if you can water them once a day in the morning? (to avoid the wet leaves at night)

Can you take a close-up picture of the damaged leaf? It may be due to the quality of the water, too.
Bonhe
 

grizzlywon

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I changed the timer to a few minutes in the early morning and then about 10AM. My media is very fast draining and I'm afraid of them drying out. I'll try to get some photos this week.

They just shrivel up and dry out. They turn light brown.
 

bretts

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Recently reading Bonsai It's Art Science, History and Philosophy by Deborah Koreshoff it was stated that spagnum moss sprinkled on the soil surface will help against the fungle wilt or damp off as it is commonly called.
 

grizzlywon

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If this is true, it didn't help these. I put shredded spag moss down on these seeds. I guess it is possible that it would have been worse with out it?

Here are the photos of a few wilted seedlings.

This is what they look like after about 3 weeks after it sets in.
They are usually a lot more shriveled.
 

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bonhe

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I think their problem is due to downy mildew or salt damage. Bonhe
 

grizzlywon

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I think their problem is due to downy mildew or salt damage. Bonhe

Whats the best way to treat? Keeping the moisture levels down? As far as salt goes, I think it would have to be from Fresno water if that is a factor here. The soil is sifted red lava, with a light scattering of peat/spag moss on top. (the very fine shredded kind)

Other advice or things to test?

I didn't mind loosing 10-20% of my green maples, but lost about half my tridents and amur's and had a lot less of these that started.
 

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