Dying Mayten tree

Nina WolfsonAugust 19, 2006

Last October I planted a beautiful Mayten tree in my backyard. It continued to thrive through a very wet winter and spring and part of a very hot summer. In the past few weeks its leaves have turned yellow and dry and it's rapidly deteriorating. I took a branch to a nursery and they said it is overwatered. So I took the water down a bit but it hasn't helped. I have two more Mayten trees in the yard and they are doing fine. HELP!

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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

If the plants you bought were container-grown it may be that the unhappy plant had been longest in a pot.

It can happen that the roots start to coil instead of being ready to forage when they get into the soil.

It might also be that, unbeknownst to you, there was a hard pan a little further down in the soil, or a patch where water has gathered over the wet season. When the water table rises in a wet spell it can cause roots to rot. Dig down a little further to check for a layer of clay or evidence of lingering water.

If you can still look down on the plant (it's under five foot in height) it could be worth digging it up and checking on conditions in-ground.

If you do need to move it, next time create a wider and shallow hole at least two foot wide and about 6-8 inches deep. Put in any staking you might need to stabilise the tree at this point.

If you place a small mound of good compost in the middle, gently tease out the roots and drape them over the mound with the tree parked on the top of the mound. Then fill in the hole, firm it lightly so the soil is not compacted, and water well with a couple of gallons gently trickled.

If the plant was root-bound expect it to take anything up to three years before it really settles down.

What often happens is that the old roots from the 'pot days' die back and form a wad through which the new roots have to find their way. It takes time.

Over this waiting time top the planting area with a light mulch of good compost and keep the weeds at bay.

If you've actually been hit with severe root rot or a fungal disease then it may be better to discard the unhealthy plant, get a replacement, and plant in a different spot. Such plants can linger but never really flourish.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 4:46AM
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dizzyret_comcast_net

I do not know is my Mayten is dying. It has lost all of its leaves which it is not supposed to do??? I can I tell if it has died. I have had it for about 5 years and we had lots of rain.

Thanks you,

Diana Thurman

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 6:38PM
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