When's the last time a tree just DIED on you?

Bonsai Nut

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I am always interested when I go to other forums in the numbers of people who are having issues because their trees are "dying". I can't remember a tree ever dying on me, though I have certainly KILLED a fair number. When I lose one of my trees, I always know what happened and I am almost always the cause. Have any of you ever lost a tree where it was truly a mystery what happened?
 

zelk

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I lost an oak last summer but it was not my fault. I was on vacation during the time and the friend i had watering my trees probably missed it.
 

paddles

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I'm good at killing corokia, not certain how I do it either. one theory is over watering, another is underwatering, onother is that the cat pissed on it, another is that I cut it back too hard? Then again, maybe they just die to spite me?:p
 

BrianBay9

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I had a Scotts Pine that was doing great.....moved it 20 miles to the nursery and it died within a month. Different microclimate, but not outside its tolerance....I suspect that watering was the issue, since it no longer recieved individual attention.

Brian
 

Tachigi

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I wish I could blame it on the cat, my neighbor, or the stars not being in perfect alignment. I ultimately have to point the finger at myself. My problem tree is the JWP or should I say white pines in particular. Not only do I use JWP, I also play with a variety of eastern white pine. A dwarf called Herford. They have short needles and back bud easily, and they are quite a bit cheaper to obtain. However with white pines in general they give me a fit. I have had quite a few survive however my average mortality for this tree is less than I would like. When it comes to any other pine no problems. I'm slowly beginning to think it is my specific location on the Chesapeake, as friends some 30 miles away don't complain of any problems. Maybe there hiding there dirty little secret :) . I guess we all need a tree to make us scratch our head and keep us honest.
 

Bonsai Nut

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My problem tree is the JWP or should I say white pines in particular.
To be frank, I like JWP more than JBP. About 12 years ago I had a beautiful japanese import that I killed. It had come in bare-rooted and instead of leaving it alone for a year I had to mess with it, repot it, etc. It was not an inexpensive tree. In retrospect I don't know what I thought I was doing, but I learned a valuable lesson about fixating on any one tree too much. Any time I start really liking a tree, I force myself to start working on another (to give the first one a break).
 

Malik

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I lost 2 boulevard cypress trees. I'm not 100% sure why they both ended up dying, but I suspect i pruned them back way too far and also wired them at the same time. it was too much for them to handle so they died. They would have been excellent bonai in the future. I think I need a tissue:(
 

Vance Wood

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To be frank, I like JWP more than JBP. About 12 years ago I had a beautiful japanese import that I killed. It had come in bare-rooted and instead of leaving it alone for a year I had to mess with it, repot it, etc. It was not an inexpensive tree. In retrospect I don't know what I thought I was doing, but I learned a valuable lesson about fixating on any one tree too much. Any time I start really liking a tree, I force myself to start working on another (to give the first one a break).
I think that JWP is the most beautiful of Pines grown as bonsai. However they are a major problem for many. I have been trying to grow them for years. I finally discovered that I have some sort of locally endemic pathogen in my area that affects White Pines of all species but JWP in particular. I have made efforts with local horticultural services associated with a major agricultural University to identify this issue and no one cares. I have found that if I treat once or twice a year with a fungicide I do pretty well but occasionally it still comes up and I will lose a tree. I lost a pretty nice Strobus Nana this last year because I did not pay attention to this issue early enough. It only seems to affect trees in pots for some reason.

As to losing trees that are a mystery that has only happened once in the last fifteen years or so. I had a really nice Zelkova I had been working on for about five years. One spring it just did not break dormancy. The tree looked fine, the cambium was still a bright vibrant green but the tree died. Many in our local area lost Chinese Elms they had had for many years to the same symptoms.
 
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William N. Valavanis once said something along the lines of, "I have killed more trees than most of you will ever see...." (Paraphrased)


I still kill trees, most recently a Literati Jack Pine that I rushed styling and a thick trunked Scots Pine. I call it tuition.



Will Heath
 

Brent

Mame
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Vance

I know you have been growing many years, and have tons of experience with pines, but have you considered that the problem with white pines may be summer high pot temperatures? I had similar experiences with JWP until I stumbled upon the fact that high soil temperatures in summer due to solar pot heating 'cooks' the roots. These pines seem to be inordinately susceptible to this phenomenon. Growing them under 40% shade cloth has made an almost miraculous difference in the survival rate, eventhough the shade cloth doesn't change the ambient temperature at all.

I know of at least one other grower, in the South where it is very difficult to grow them, that has had the same experience. He shades his pots with styrafoam and foil.

Just a thought. For years, I blamed my failures on fungal problems as well. I am sure that this species is indeed troublesome with regard to root fungal problems, but I am also sure that high soil temperatures are also an issue.

Brent
EvergreenGardenworks.com
see our blog at http://BonsaiNurseryman.typepad.com
 
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