Ask a Question forum: What is wrong with my tree?

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Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Jun 30, 2015 5:35 AM CST
Just noticed this on my weeping crab


Thumb of 2015-06-30/jvdubb/6817c6
Thumb of 2015-06-30/jvdubb/3cf6f6

Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
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Moonhowl
Jun 30, 2015 9:37 AM CST
Jennifer, it looks like a fungal infection as a result of damage. I had a redbud that got bumped by the lawnmower and had a tiny (according to my husband) nick in the trunk. The tree did not survive.

It may be what is called apple scab...

https://ask.extension.org/questions/199703#.VZK3GRtViko


You may want to e-mail or call and speak with your county agent/co-operative extensive service. Good Luck.
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
Jun 30, 2015 9:47 AM CST
I'm totally not in love with the tree. So it can go.

Thank you for the reply
[Last edited by jvdubb - Jun 30, 2015 9:47 AM (+)]
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Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
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Moonhowl
Jun 30, 2015 3:29 PM CST
All righty then...problem solved... Thumbs up nodding
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Jun 30, 2015 6:31 PM CST
I also think it is a fungus of some kind. You should research before planting another tree in that same area after this one is removed. I understand some fungus is IN the soil, so it will affect a new planted tree in the same area there.
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
Jun 30, 2015 6:35 PM CST
Frillylily said:I also think it is a fungus of some kind. You should research before planting another tree in that same area after this one is removed. I understand some fungus is IN the soil, so it will affect a new planted tree in the same area there.


I thought of that. Too bad too because I would love to plant one of my dappled willow experiments there.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Jun 30, 2015 6:48 PM CST
I had a willow once that had a fungus shortly after I planted it (1 yr later) and I had to take it out.
You may be able to have your soil tested to see what it is for sure and if there are trees that will not be bothered by it. It may only affect certain kinds of trees, I don't know.
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Jun 30, 2015 7:04 PM CST
I will consult an expert.
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
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Zencat
Jun 30, 2015 7:13 PM CST
I would call an expert, too but I'm fairly certain an injury occured to the tree first. Crabapples are pretty once a year and I'm not a fan of them, either.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Jun 30, 2015 9:29 PM CST
Fungus does frequently follow a wound of some sort which I suppose either 1. allows the tree to succumb to fungus present in the soil as it is weakened. or 2. allows fungus to enter the tree through the wound itself. Again I would think there are different kinds. IF it is the result of a wound, it may not affect the soil and planting another tree there would be ok. But again you wouldn't really know without some way of testing the soil first. Crabapples can be really pretty trees, but many people do not prune them properly and they look like a bush on a stick and are too low to the ground ect. The variety can make a huge difference as well. I have a crab apple that has small berry-like gold colored fruits and they stay on most of the winter. It is very attractive. I do have one in my front yard that has purple foliage year round and it is really nice. They like water, so in drier areas, they may tend to look not as nice during the hotter months. They are nice trees for town yards because they do not overwhelm smaller yards. Suitable subs are dogwood, redbud, other fruit trees, ornamental fruit trees such as cherries, or holly. of course if space is not a problem you can plant anything as long as the soil is ok.
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
Pour vivre parmi les fleurs
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Zencat
Jun 30, 2015 9:40 PM CST
It looks like a fairly old tree, too. Is it?
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 1, 2015 12:32 PM CST
Down here, the worldwide center for fungus of every type, we do what we call "soil solarization" that basically bakes the soil using the sun to eliminate soil-borne disease, as well as weeds and nematodes (which we have here, but you don't).

If you start soon, you can utilize the hottest sun of the season. After you remove the tree just till the soil a bit, water well and spread clear plastic over it, weighted on the edges so it is sealed to eliminate air flow. Let it 'bake' for a few weeks and it should be completely useable again. Till in some good compost before you plant though, as the natural microorganisms are pretty depleted by this process.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Jul 1, 2015 12:40 PM CST
dyzzypyxxy said: Let it 'bake' for a few weeks and it should be completely useable again. Till in some good compost before you plant though, as the natural microorganisms are pretty depleted by this process.


I think I will wait until winter and use the Michigan method of freezing it out Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

I probably can't get my husband to get to cut this down until fall. He just took out an ornamental Cherry the was utterly infested with carpenter ants. I try to limit the projects I ask of him Hilarious!
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
Jul 1, 2015 12:41 PM CST
Zencat said:It looks like a fairly old tree, too. Is it?


I am not sure because it was here when we moved in 4 years ago. But it likely is "original". It really is not very attractive, well at least to me.
Kentucky 😔 (Zone 6a)
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Swayback
Jul 1, 2015 12:59 PM CST
I'm not an expert, but that looks like a heart rot, these generally only affect the heartwood, which is technically dead already, but doesn't usually rot thanks to compartmentalization.
Trees can live with heart rot for YEARS! It can and often does lead to the dimise of tree, but that doesn't mean it needs to be removed immediately, especially if the tree is not threatening a structure.

Many, many old trees conceal heart rot very well, often the wound that allows the fungus in will be high up in the branches, and goes unnoticed, I've seen many old trees that have actually survived the heart rot, all the heartwood will rot away, leaving no food for the fungus, at that point the tree will often heal itself from the inside and go right in growing.

It's also a natural cycle, the various fungi that may consume that tree will likely improve your soil, it may( or may not) cause your tree to look unattractive, but it's not doomed.

I hate to see trees chopped.
Please tree mail me for trades, I'm ALWAYS actively looking for more new plants, and love to trade!
[Last edited by Swayback - Jul 2, 2015 8:35 AM (+)]
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Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
Jul 1, 2015 1:13 PM CST
Thank you for the info Swayback! I am sorry to make you sad that I want to remove the tree. But I have several new trees in pots and this is in a spot I would love to see several of them.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jul 1, 2015 1:46 PM CST
Could it be bacterial "wetwood" aka "slime flux"?

http://www.mortonarb.org/trees-plants/plant-clinic/help-dise...
http://www.uky.edu/Ag/kpn/kpn_09/pn_090804.html#WHEAT
http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/you...
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jul 1, 2015 2:23 PM CST
Could that tree have been planted too deep by previous owners? I can't quite see any root flare. Sometimes that can cause problems or contribute to other problems.
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
Jul 1, 2015 3:04 PM CST
I don't think it is too deep. Maybe it was root injured when I planted ajuga around it


Thumb of 2015-07-01/jvdubb/cb680f

Kentucky 😔 (Zone 6a)
Region: Kentucky Tropicals Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener Cactus and Succulents Garden Ideas: Level 1
Plant Identifier
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Swayback
Jul 1, 2015 10:09 PM CST
I'm not an expert, but that looks like a heart rot, these generally only affect the heartwood, which is technically dead already, but doesn't usually rot thanks to compartmentalization.
Trees can live with heart rot for YEARS! It can and often does lead to the dimise of tree, but that doesn't mean it needs to be removed immediately, especially if the tree is not threatening a structure.

Many, many old trees conceal heart rot very well, often the wound that allows the fungus in will be high up in the branches, and goes unnoticed, I've seen many old trees that have actually survived the heart rot, all the heartwood will rot away, leaving no food for the fungus, at that point the tree will often heal itself from the inside and go right in growing.

It's also a natural cycle, the various fungi that may consume that tree will likely improve your soil, it may( or may not) cause your tree to look unattractive, but it's be doomed.

I hate to see trees chopped.
Please tree mail me for trades, I'm ALWAYS actively looking for more new plants, and love to trade!

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