Is this transplant shock? What can I do?

moonstarrJuly 7, 2013

Hi everyone! I'm new to posting in this forum, although I have browsed before when looking for information.

A bit of background: I had a Schubert Chokecherry planted last Tuesday (which ended up being the hottest day so far of the year ... just over 30 degrees. I realize it wasn't the best day to plant, but that's when he planted it). We had this tree (and an Autumn Blaze Maple) professionally planted. Because he got the trees at his discount at the nursery, there isn't a warranty apparently. The maple appears to be doing well, but the chokecherry is showing signs of transplant shock? I'm not really sure. I've tried to get in touch with him to have him take a look so I can research what I can do to help it get healthy again, but so far no luck.

Anyway! I researched online and thought it might be transplant shock? The first day it was planted, the leaves were very droopy. I gave it some water the first day and the next day the top appeared to perk up a bit, but then the leaves started turning colour, curling up a bit and a couple fell off (only 3 so far). Since it's been planted, I've checked the moisture everyday (with a moisture metre) and watered it a bit everyday. Today it's looking a bit droopy again, even though we had a decent rain yesterday. Two days after it was planted, I did add about 2" of bark mulch around the base (keeping it 2" away from the trunk).

I have some photos linked here ...

http://s695.photobucket.com/user/moonstarr69_album/library/Schubert%20Chokecherry?sort=3&page=1

The photo of the full tree was taken the night it was planted where you can see how droopy the leaves were. The other photos were taken the day after it was planted. The leaves are still looking about the same. There is also a photo of the trunk where there is this big gouge out of it. Is that something we need to be concerned about? I'm assuming it happened in transport?

My questions are:
1. Is this transplant shock or something else?
2. What can I do to try to nurse it back to health?
3. Approximately how long might it take to get it healthy again? On average?
4. The big gouge out of the trunk ... do we need to worry about that or can it heal?

Thanks so much for any help you can offer me. These two trees are the first trees I've had planted, so I'm trying to learn as much as I can. :)

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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

Hi there. Welcome to our forum.

First of all I'd like to ask you this. Do you really really like Schubert Chokecherries? If not, I'd cut my losses and plant something else, whether or not your current one is going to survive. The Schubert will get black knot. It's the fungus that looks like a dog crapped in your tree branches :) Personally I think there's much nicer trees to choose from. Did you choose it, or did the professional who planted it?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 1:12PM
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moonstarr

I actually picked it out. :) He did give some other suggestions, but I really loved the look of the chokecherry, so I thought I'd try it. I did read about the black knot and realized it might be a concern, but I wanted to take my chances. I have a bit of money invested in this tree now, so if I can make it healthy that it my priority. If not, next spring we could look at replacing it.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 1:24PM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

O.K. then :)

I'm sure someone else will speak up and give you advice. I've never tried and never would try to save a Schubert, so I'm not the one to help you, LOL!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 1:49PM
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donna_in_sask

My clueless neighbours have one of these trees planted right beside our fence. It has an advanced case of black knot, but I know they will let the tree die naturally rather than take it out like a responsible neighbour. I used to like the look of this tree too, but now my opinion is jaded, not only by this diseased tree but also its berries that drop onto my deck and stain it.

Anyway, back to the topic of saving your tree...go buy some liquid transplant fertilizer; it has a high P (phosphorus number) which will help encourage root growth. Keep it watered well as it's getting adjusted.

Btw, I was in Calgary visiting relatives on that day last week...it really was a scorcher!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 2:00PM
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Pudge 2b

It does look like severe transplant shock, but I can't see that type of shock going from a pot into a hole in the ground. Did you see the plant in the pot before it was planted? Or was it dug up, transported to your place and planted before you saw it in the pot. That's what type of shock it looks like to me. That could also explain the damage to the trunk if a machine was used to uproot it.

That gash on the trunk is nasty, I'd be concerned. One of the issues with black knot is it can attack damaged bark because it is weaker to start with. If it was a branch, not so big a deal because the damage could be cleanly pruned off. But such damage on a trunk ... quite honestly, the person who professionally planted it should have known better and if it were me, I'd start asking for a replacement. Warranty aside, I'm sure you paid for quality, not damaged and certainly not near death within a week of planting it. Don't get ripped off, give the 'professional' a call about it.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 2:12PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Unless you got it at a discount because of that gash in the trunk I personally wouldn't accept that.

Good luck.

SCG

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 2:47PM
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Pudge 2b

You know, looking at that gash in the trunk again, I don't know if that's fresh damage - it looks like it could have been there a while.

(To imbed the photo into your text here, just copy the 'html' tag to the right of your photo in photobucket and paste into your text)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 4:06PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I'm no expert, but I wouldn't have accepted a tree with such an injury. It sounds to me like your guy is pulling a fast one on you - no warranty?! It doesn't sound right to me!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 4:37PM
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moonstarr

Thanks for all the comments. I will try to get in touch with him again.

BTW ... thanks pudge for letting me know how to paste the image. :) I wasn't sure how to do that.

I think I'll wait this one out if it can't be replaced. Keep it watered (but not over watered!) and see if it comes around. I'll see if I can find some of that liquid transplant fertilizer. If it doesn't make it, next spring we'll take it out and plant something else in there. I feel like I need to give it a chance I guess. Poor tree. :(

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 4:38PM
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moonstarr

Hi marciaz3, he told me about the warranty thing before hand (that because he got a discount at the nursery, there wasn't a warranty supplied ... I just believed him?) and I was at work the day they were planted, so didn't see them until it was already in the ground. If it can't be replaced ... I guess I'll just chalk this up to an expensive mistake. I think next spring we'll just plant our own tree, even if we can't plant one as large ourselves.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 4:42PM
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CLBlakey

I had a tree last year with an injury like that we replaced it this spring after its second spring. The new tree started to droop like yours is and we watered like mad now it is starting to pick up.

definition of water like mad - five gallons of water poured on Friday, Sat, and Sunday each day each week. Now on week 4 or 5 it is looking healthy.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 6:22PM
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donna_in_sask

I didn't see the picture, so didn't know about the wound on the trunk. It reminds me of one of the apple trees we had in our yard. When my son was in his destructive phase, he ran a wheelbarrow into the trunk of this tree and it caused a wound on it. This tree ended up contracting fire blight, so I do know that injuries make a tree more susceptible to disease.

There is still lots of growing season left, I would call the place you bought this tree and explain your predicament and see whether they will let you exchange it for something else. A lot of companies are interested in having repeat customers.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 6:49PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Hi Moonstarr - guess we all make mistakes in our gardens. Some turn out okay and some don't (and i'm constantly pulling out my mistakes! LOL). It just seemed a little fishy to me that there was no warranty, and that he planted a tree with such a big wound. But I guess if you knew about the warranty, he was up front with you. Hope it turns out okay. :)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 7:17PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Moonstarr,

Unless that gash was there when you picked it out it has nothing to do with warranty. The nurseries warranty, that was waived due to discounted price, is to cover the tree to survive for their warranty period.

If that gash was not there when you looked at and picked the tree you should phone your "professional". It should be up to him and the nursery to figure out where the damage was caused and who should pay for it. No matter what the price you shouldn't. Don't let them get away with it.

Imagine if this was a car. You pick a car out and buy it through a third party (professional broker/driver) that can get you a discounted price but you waive the warranty. The car looks fine when you pick it out but when it is delivered by the professional the front end is caved in from what looks like hitting a telephone pole. Would you say "I hope it makes it?" Absolutely not.

Sorry to rant but I hate to see people get taken advantage of.

Good luck with it and if you are not the type to phone to complain send me more pictures and a phone number and I will do it for you :)

SCG

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 8:03PM
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moonstarr

Thanks everyone! I actually didn't see the tree before it was picked out. I told him what trees we wanted planted and where, and then left it up to him to choose the best specimen from the nursery he goes to. Either it already had the trunk gash before he picked it out and didn't notice (although I don't see how he couldn't have noticed) or it happened on his end when they transported it and planted it and he didn't notice or hoped I wouldn't notice!

I did buy some root fertilizer tonight (Plant Prod Root Booster) and will try that and see if it helps. I will make sure I keep it water lots as well ... at least until it hopefully establishes itself. Keeping my fingers crossed. If I can make this tree healthy that is my priority as I would hate to waste a tree of this size. It just seems so sad to not give it a chance. :)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 8:55PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Okay, that makes the difference. Probably why he got the discount and they wanted the warranty waived. The gash, as pudge pointed out, doesn't look recent. Therefore this will be your lesson learned, unfortunately.

Good luck with the tree and keep us posted with pictures.

SCG

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 11:36AM
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moonstarr

Good news! I heard back from him this morning and he will be replacing the tree! Thanks for all your comments and suggestions. I still feel bad not giving this tree a chance, BUT I will be much happier with a healthy tree. :)

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 12:29PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Yay!!! Although that is what they should be doing I am still happy for you.

SCG

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 12:37PM
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donna_in_sask

Great news about getting a replacement. Make sure to use the root booster when you plant the new tree. :)

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 12:46PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

What donna said and I would be putting some mycorrhizae on as well. I did a test this year using it on about half the plants and shrubs I planted. The ones with it are noticeably bigger, some nearly twice the size.

SCG

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 1:01PM
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Pudge 2b

I'm glad that worked out for you.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 3:51PM
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