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6 year old tangutica died?

Posted by true-blue Montreal, Canada Zon (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 27, 13 at 7:13


I've got a 6 year old tangutica clematis (Golden harvest cultivar). It was a monster of a clematis as I'd never pruned it. It had long woody stems 6 foot tall.

This spring, I pruned the woody stems,2 feet above the ground. It grew back healthily and it was full of buds. A week ago I noticed one branch completely browned/ dried, I thought maybe a squirrel had cut down one of the branches.
Yesterday, to my horror the whole vine had turned browned, flowers and all.

Can anyone explain to me, what has happened? Could it be my pruning this spring? Any suggestions. Shall I cut everything down and hope for the best.

Here is a photo.The green leaves in the photo don't belong to the clematis :-(

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: 6 year old tangutica died?

Well.....I would first check to see if you have a stem borer, then I would inspect the vine at soil level to see if it has developed crown rot......may even have nematodes attacking the roots further in the soil....... may also be verticillium wilt....
Also.....did you over fertilize (fertilizer burn) or other chemicals accidently applied?
Good luck....

RE: 6 year old tangutica died?

Thanks ians.
Definitely not fertilizer burn.
I'll check for the stem borer & crown rot tomorrow.
I was under the impression that the wilt was more or less associated with Group II clematis.

RE: 6 year old tangutica died?

Clematis are resistant to verticillium wilt (not the same as clematis wilt) and this species clematis is resistant to even that problem. I'd suspect some sort of damage to the base of the vine - possibly borers (although I have never encountered that issue with clematis) but just as likely some sort of mechanical damage, either manmade or critter induced.

Unless in a poorly draining area - and you would have noticed that problem long before now - there is likely no serious problem with the root system. I suggest just cutting it back hard and see what happens next season. IME tanguticas are extremely tough vines - I'd wager it comes back fine.

RE: 6 year old tangutica died?

Thanks gardengal. I was afraid that my spring pruning had affected it.
By hard prune do you mean cutting it to the ground and removing all of the woody stems?

RE: 6 year old tangutica died?

It depends on how large and how woody those stems are. My experience with hard pruning (down to the ground) mature vines - those that have developed a decently sized woody 'trunk' (like 1 inch diameter or more) - is not very favorable.

Personally I would prune back to a framework that encompasses where any lateral branching takes off. There should still be adequate meristematic tissue in these lateral shoots to encourage and support new growth in spring.

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