? Picea a.Reflexa and Acer p. CQ

Cher(6 SW OH)June 12, 2014

Hoping this is no big deal. I can hear a couple of you saying it's just inner needle drop and normal but it's the 1st time I've seen it and I wanted to double check to be sure. The first photo was a few weeks ago from the front with nice new growth. The following 2 are from the back and the inside that I noticed while spreading mulch. The outside still looks great.

Since there are so many with Acer's I thought I would ask here since we have authorities come in here to read.
This is Acer p. Crimson Queen from last year

Put it in end of May 2012 and we promptly went into a drought as we all did in the country yet it came back fine last year per the above photo although I noticed the below injury on the bottom of the tree last year and figured either from the drought the year before or mulch had washed up high against the trunk.

This year it started leafing out when we got an unheard of snow in late April of several inches and when it melted the weather went into mid to high 80's within days on the still baby leaves not out all the way grown out yet and it burned them up and browned and fell off. So I've listened to all of you and know they can releaf but this has been over a month now and the bottom started growing the leaves shown here which is obviously root stock. So opinions please? Does the root stock leaves mean it's unlikely to grow the Crimson Queen uptop or is it still a wait and see and if it is, how long a wait and see could I go. It did so well so was kind of surprised this happened. Appreciate all of your responses. TIA

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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

The spruce looks fine.

The Maple looks like a goner. It may just be winterkill and unrelated to the April snow or freeze...looks like it to me.

You could, if you want, train one of those lower sprouts into a new tree, if they originate from above the graft, but it probably isn't worth it.

This post was edited by hairmetal4ever on Thu, Jun 12, 14 at 20:14

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 8:12PM
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Hi Chohio, Your Picea abies is fine. If you wanted to carefully nip out some of the spent branches on the interior that would be fine and help with some air flow. Just go slow and make sure its dead before snipping.... Sorry to say, everthing above the graft on your maple is dead. I can tell from the color. It wont be back. This doesnt mean it would have turned out differently, but anytime you see your understock flushing out like that , dont hesitate and nip them off flush to the trunk. Dont let them get your cultivars energy.Unless you want an Acer palmatum...its time to start over with that one.
Best of luck

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 8:17PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Ohio had a pretty rough winter. My father near Canton had -14 a couple times - not sure how cold you got down in SW Ohio.

His Jap maples actually look OK, but his neighbor's Seriyu had about 50% crown dieback, although it appears to be recovering.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 11:18PM
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Cher(6 SW OH)

hairmetal4ever we also got -14 but that was with wind chill. Definitely had zone 5 weather here and zone 4 with wind chill. It just surprised me because the CQ part leafed out and then burned up. Darn I loved that thing but will not put in another CQ as this Winter showed if we have an exceptional year it can't cope. I have 4 other Jap Maples that did fine. The person that writes a gardening column here for the paper I think stated she lost 7 Jap Maples so I was feeling real good when all of mine were leafing out at that time. :) I won't keep the tree as I like to many cultivars to keep a normal palmatum, let alone it would be too big anyway for that space. I'll pot it though for a year or so and send it out to my brother's farm. :)

Al I appreciate your opinion. Normally I would have pruned the rootstock leaves but not being sure if it would releaf had decided to leave them to feed the tree until I got some other opinions. Just ticks me off that I am now short a Jap Maple.

Appreciate the comments on the Picea. I could hear Ken in my head saying every few years you lose interior needles so thought that was it and now know for sure.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 6:40AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

cho, are you saying your lowest temp was -14 with the windchill?

We had -60 windchill and there are Crimson Queen's alive around in protected spots.

I bet the cold just accelerated its death but an injury like that is surely going to weaken a tree and not help with pumping water to the canopy. I just found that same type of injury on Nook Green Arrow earlier this spring, as you can imagine it was dead.

I guess my point is that the winter really isn't to blame on this one.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 7:01AM
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Yes Cher, The bottom portion of your tree looked compromised. Did you buy it like that? Or was something hungry? It may have played a part in its demise.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 10:49AM
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Cher(6 SW OH)

Thanks whass for your answer. I did feel the injury was the main issue. That's why I was so happy to see the top start leafing out this Spring. It was another year of living with it, but I felt the tree had just have too much go wrong. Someone else was posting in Acer's about their CQ so it made me nervous but I hate not getting another as it's a great size for that location. Was out looking today and let me tell you all the trees have skyrocketed in price in the last year and didn't see a decent CQ among them anyway. We'll see.

Al I'm not sure what happened. It was fine when I got it then a year later I noticed that lower damage. I will say I discovered just a month ago that a rabbit has been getting in under a spot in the fence which I ran out and closed up so whether he was in the yard a year ago I can't say or just stress from the drought of 12 that appeared last year, I don't know but I do appreciate the answers as I will be keeping an eye out for some kind of replacement for sure now.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 4:39PM
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Cher: I am further south that you and had -13F (no wind chill factored) twice last winter. i was fortunate to suffer no damage on the maples.

However, in our area the palmatum problem is generally not the lowest temperature, but rather what you described. The palmatums start to leaf and the sap is flowing and zap along comes a freeze. That damaged tissue cannot recover. It is not your choice of cultivar,CQ,but rather an endemic problem.

IMO the reward still outweighs the risk.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 5:31AM
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Cher(6 SW OH)

You know after I wrote that baxz I remembered that was the actual temp the one day without chill -14. Under my patio which is mostly enclosed the temp was 3. I was watching a lot this past Winter to see how much warmer it stays under there based on how cold it is. It was 17 degrees warmer plus extra with wind chill. Seems like it was -25 with wind chill but thankfully it's a distant memory right now. LOL

You could be right on that tree with the freeze because I thought it was ok and it was the second year to leaf with that prior injury. Maybe a combo problem and the freeze just was too much with the injury there too. My other Jap Maples did fine but their leaves were slightly further along so that may be why they made it. Not seeing anything local yet to replace so it may be Fall or next Spring. Anyway I sure do appreciate all of you taking your time with the responses.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 6:19PM
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