Autumn Blaze Maple

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Autumn Blaze Maple

Postby pricky » Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:35 pm

Hi

I am new here to the forums and am currently building a new house on an acre block.

yet to have planted any trees on site i went out and recently purchased a dozen "Autumn Blaze" Maple trees and planted them about a week ago.

I gave them a good soaking when i planted them and within 3 days the leaves are starting to whither and dry up. Some trees leaves are to the stage that even on the touch the leaves crumble in your hands.

I contacted the Nursery where I bought them from and they told me not wory too much as it sounds like they have gone into shock. My Dad seems to think that we put to much water in when we planted and I believe it hasnt got enough water. These trees arent the cheapest trees to buy and I am afraid of losing them all.

Please, if anyone has got any suggestions we could you use all the advise we can get.
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Re: Autumn Blaze Maple

Postby Mister Wisteria » Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:43 pm

Welcome to the Forum, I presume the trees are in a well drained area, if so I wouldn't think it would be water, on the other hand if the area is not well drained they could be sitting in water. One of those water tester thingo's from the B Store are under $20-00, that may help. I use mine all the time as water is at a premium and with the funny weather we are having its hard to know when you should water. :D
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Re: Autumn Blaze Maple

Postby guzzigirl » Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:52 pm

how wet does the soil feel when you poke your finger in? Is your soil sandy or clay? how big are the trees?

if the branches are still springy when you bend them then they are not dead yet. You might think that because the leaves are dry and shrivelled it is because there is not enough water, but if there is too much water and the roots get waterlogged they can rot and the leaves will still go dry and shrivelled.

If your soil is sand or feels dry then you can water again with some seaweed extract added to help overcome the shock, but if you have clay or the soil feels wet then leave them alone and don't water again until the soil dries out some.

To test the drainage of your soil dig a hole somewhere in the area you planted your trees, and fill with water. If it drains away quickly then your drainage is good and it would be difficult to water too much, but if sits in the hole for a long time then your drainage is poor and you risk overwatering your trees.

It is not unusual for trees to go into shock when first planted out, particularly if they are advanced. How big are your trees?
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Re: Autumn Blaze Maple

Postby greg.l » Tue Dec 09, 2008 5:41 pm

If all 5 trees shriveled at once it is unlikely to be root rot, probably they have dried out. When trees get potbound they can dry out very quickly and are unlikely to ever establish well. Even when the soil around the rootball is wet the roots are trapped in the pot shape and cannot access it and will use up their own reserves of water v. quickly. For this reason, when establishing a large garden you are better off buying smaller trees or bareroot trees in winter. Establishing a new garden at this time of year can be very difficult.
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Re: Autumn Blaze Maple

Postby pricky » Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:23 am

Ok it seems i need to explain a little more,

To answer some of your questions,

(#) The trees are 180cm tall
(#) The soil is clay.
(#) The branches are still springy when i bend them.
(#) When i stick my finger in the soil it is dry but I am worried that i have water sitting on the bottom of the hole due to the clay.

Now what has peeved me off, is i followed the Nursery directions on planting them and now this has happend.

Their instructions were :

Dig a whole about 30cm deep and and about 40-50cm wide. We then put in a little top soil on the bottom followed by 1kg of Blood and Bone. Planted the tree and then topped it up with a mixture of top soil, potting mix and a little sheep manure. We also put in, one of those black rigged ag pipes right down to the roots for watering.

When i rang the Nursery for advice due to the trees going bad, they went on to tell me that for the leaves to whither & dry out happend to fast for it to be a lack or too much water and thus the reason they believe its shock. The also suggested to try some "Seasol" (Seaweed solution) to help them recover. I have never heard of this stuff before.

One of the builders on site believes that the leaves are actually wind burn from when i transported them home on the back of my ute. Is this possible ?

My dad wants to dig a tree up to see what is actually going on down there to solve the mystery once and for all. Is this good for the tree to be dug up again ?
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Re: Autumn Blaze Maple

Postby greg.l » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:17 am

Could well be the trip in the ute if it was a hot day. 180cm is pretty big, how big were the pots they were in? You would want a pretty big (30cm+) pot for trees that big and they will use heaps of water.
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Re: Autumn Blaze Maple

Postby brill » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:24 am

Hi, Agree with your dad. Wind burn can cause that kind of damage. What about the leaves that were on the floor of the ute, protected from the wind, are they showing the same symptoms. Also agree to pull out at least one plant and see what is going on down below. Because your soil is clay and you filled the hole with different soil (potting mix and top soil) what you have done is created a pot in the ground and the water will drain through your fill to sit at the bottom of the hole. I always recommend you mix good soil with the original soil taken out when refilling the hole (the majority being the original soil) Also the soils you filled with will dry out much quicker than the original clay. I've never put blood & bone into a hole so don't know the amounts to apply, but 1kg per plant does seem to be a bit much to me. Maybe others will know more, but if too much that may cause burnt roots and consequently shock. They were big plants. Assume they were in a 250-300ml pot. Advanced trees need more water while getting their roots down. But if you have soil sitting at the bottim of the hole that will create problems. Might have to pull them all out, loosen the clay underneath, dig some gypsum in to help break up the clay, then replant in a mixture of clay and top soil.
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Re: Autumn Blaze Maple

Postby pricky » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:05 am

Well,,,,we dug up 2 trees last night and found the soil to be ok. There wasn't any water sitting on the bottom of the hole and the soil was fairly moist, actually if anything, it was bit on the dry side but my Dad assured me it was nothing to worry about.

We seem to think that the trees have gone into shock and we hope that they will recover ok. We watered last night with some of that "Seasol" as well.

I plan to water the trees twice a week with about 10 litres of water per tree. Pour 5 litres into the ag pipe and pour the other 5 litres on the top. Also going to water with the "Seasol" additive once a week for the next month.

Do you guys think this is ok as we a still a little unsure on how much water we should use ?

(#) Also, A client of my wife informed us that they planted Japanesse maples 2 years ago and she said her trees did the same thing, they looked to have died and all the leaves dropped off and then the following year, all the trees came back to life.

Maybe this is normal process for these trees?
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