Memorial Jacaranda Tree - please help

lislariviereJuly 19, 2014

Hi there, this is my first time posting. My 20 year old son was killed last year by a drunk driver and I opted to have a jacaranda tree grown from his ashes. A friend that cares for plants brought it from the seed stage up to about this year in Prescott (cooler) and I brought it home 2 months ago. Since I got it home the tree has lost all of the leaves on top and it seems to be spreading downward. I first kept it under my patio out from the heat worried that it would be hard coming to the warmer temp, then it started to drop leaves so I thought maybe it was still too hot and brought it indoors under my big picture window, it didn't stop dropping so I thought maybe it needed more sun and yet to stay cool so I put it in an afternoon facing spot on my porch and it just lost the next level of leaves... I'm freaked out. This tree is more than precious to me, I'm new at doing anything like this and I don't know what to do. The bottom seems to be fairly healthy but the new little buds are starting to dry up too. I've never posted on here but saw the forum and am praying you can help tell me what's happening and how to stop it from dropping it's sweet leaves. It's in a self watering pot. I shared one picture. there are no leaves from about 1/3 up (the others are the tree behind it) If you need more and will tell me how to post more than one I'm happy to do so. and I'm so grateful for your help in advance. Thank you.

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i figured out how to post more pictures. Here you go. This is the latest casualty

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 6:38PM
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if you zoom in you can see how it starts drying at the edges and then works towards the stem then eventually the whole limb falls off. Thank you again.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 6:41PM
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My advice would be to find a prominent place you want the tree to be located and account for its mature size, then get it out of the pot and into the ground.

Make sure you soak the pot thoroughly before planting.

Make sure you soak the hole you have dug thoroughly.

When you plant the tree, make sure you do not plant too deep, better to plant too shallow than too deep.

Once you plant it you should not need to water it very often, Jacaranda like to get dry in between watering and you will kill it by over watering, the hard part will to be to resist watering. If its already damaged it will likely not improve immediately, be patient.

I would water once a week or less since we are getting monsoon rains. Once we get into fall water it every two weeks.
During winter and into spring I would only water it once a month just to keep the roots moist.

Expect leaf loss in the winter and do not increase the water.

You need to cover it the first couple years during winter if there is an expected frost. Once they get big enough to where you cant cover them you do not need to worry about it.

You can take the top green shoot and train that as the new central leader.
Im attaching a link to a picture to show what I mean, but basically you take a stick as tall as the tree ,and strap it to the main trunk, then take the green shoot at the top and strap that to the stick.

Best of luck

Here is a link that might be useful: new central leader

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 2:20AM
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good morning Matt,

Thank you for responding. Unfortunately I'm renting my house until I decide which part of the city I want to settle down in so I can transfer it just yet. Hopefully by next summer. Would you think just letting it dry out in between waterings would keep it alive until then? I've been keeping the self-watering pot at a constant level but maybe that's what's doing it? Thank you also for the link and tip for training the leader. I've read not to trim it so I've just been letting it do what it wants but that's for sure a great idea. Sorry to pick your brain once more, but thank you again! I'm so glad you responded.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 11:45AM
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