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Disease on acer - please help!

Discussion in 'Trees' started by Smudgedhorizon, Aug 22, 2017.

  1. Smudgedhorizon

    Smudgedhorizon Gardener

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    Could someone please help identify what is wrong with my tree - I've noticed what seems to be some sort of disease travelling up the trunk of my acer palmatum 'Koto No Ito' - I absolutely adore this tree and I've had it a few years now so I'm really devastated to think it could have a disease and might die! I've no idea what could be wrong, I've tried to frantically google but couldn't find anything helpful. I apologise if this isn't the right place for this.

    I feel awful because I've had such a busy year I've been quite neglectful of my plants other than watering and a quick glance at foliage for pests. Tree seems otherwise fine - lovely leaves, strong growth this year.

    If it makes a difference this is a potted acer. It is watered but never fertilised. I add bark chips on top every winter.

    Thank you so much in advance.

    IMG_2887.JPGIMG_2888.JPGIMG_2890.JPGIMG_2891.JPG
     
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      Last edited: Aug 22, 2017
    • Zigs

      Zigs Naughty Ginger Admin Staff Member

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      I'm only wildflowers and veg department, but it looks to me like it's just the bark maturing :)
       
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      • HarmonyArb

        HarmonyArb Gardener

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        +1 for this answer. It's the bark changing from young, green and full of chlorophyll into the usual periderm layer.
         
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        • Zigs

          Zigs Naughty Ginger Admin Staff Member

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          Nice one HA :thumbsup: :love30: :phew: :biggrin:
           
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          • Smudgedhorizon

            Smudgedhorizon Gardener

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            Oh my god, amazing, thank you SOOOO much, never been so relieved to be an idiot! I honestly nearly cried when I thought it had something awful happening to it! It is the biggest and most mature acer I have so it makes sense that none of my others are like that yet. I love you guys, thank you, especially for the fast replies putting me out of my misery!
             
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            • Zigs

              Zigs Naughty Ginger Admin Staff Member

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              If you'm not seen it before then its only natural you'd be worried :)

              Not got an Acer but took a pic of the Willow for comparison :)DSCI0001 (3).JPG
               
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              • ARMANDII

                ARMANDII ADMINISTRATOR Staff Member

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                Naah, it's so easy to mistake appearances with plants and Trees, and we all, Smudgedhorizon, have made similar mistakes:dunno::wallbanging::heehee:.........it's all about learning what's happening in the garden every day.
                 
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                • BeeHappy

                  BeeHappy Total Gardener

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                  Awww bless you @Smudgedhorizon :)...you can feel your relief on the forum screen :imphrt:
                  :yes: Isn't GC THE BEST :dbgrtmb:....so helpful and friendly :grphg:....and understanding when we are unsure and worried ...Never making us feel like you've asked a daft or obvious question - These folk are just GOLDstar's :star:
                   
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                  • Irmemac

                    Irmemac Super Gardener

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                    @Smudgedhorizon, I'm really pleased your acer is developing normally. It looks nice and strong. You must be so relieved.

                    Can I ask a bit about how you got yours to this stage? I would love an acer but have killed two, one in a pot and the other directly in the ground. I would like one potted, but not sure whereabouts it should go. One of mine died in mostly sun, and the other in mainly shade. What size of pot is best, and should it be repotted or left alone? You have clearly done well with yours, whereas I feel like the grim reaper of acers.
                     
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                    • whis4ey

                      whis4ey Head Gardener

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                      Potted acers can be moved about to avoid windy conditions, or too much sun, or even too much shade etc. Care has to be taken during the winter months to protect the root system, maybe even by moving the plant into a greenhouse or similar. They need good drainage but otherwise soil type is largely irrelevant :)
                      The acer here is perfectly healthy ...
                      I don't repot very often, and I seldom feed as they can get leggy. However, the soil can be replenished every few years if you feel the need. Generally these plants prefer to be left alone :)
                       
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                      • Irmemac

                        Irmemac Super Gardener

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                        Thanks for the useful advice, @whis4ey. Would like to dip my toe back into the acer pond. Maybe this year!
                         
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                        • NigelJ

                          NigelJ Total Gardener

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                          Ornamental acers do not like wind, or dry conditions. I've also found that small snails will munch the young bark over winter. Lack of shelter is why I only have a couple of these.
                           
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                          • Smudgedhorizon

                            Smudgedhorizon Gardener

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                            Happy spring everyone! Me again!

                            One year later almost!
                            Same acer - it has these on just the upper side of all it’s branches. I’ve tried googling but can’t see anything that it looks like. any ideas what this could be? Is it a disease? It looks like a horrible disease.

                            Trying not to panic but I’m worried and don’t know what to do. There’s nothing on the underneath of the branches (which are green).

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                            I swear with my plants I’m like that Mum who always has her children at the Drs for every little sniffle!

                            Thank you so so much to everyone who takes the time to look at this for me, I really appreciate it.
                             
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                            • Verdun

                              Verdun Passionate gardener

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                              I've not seen that on the maples I've grown Smudgedhorizon.
                              First thought though is mealybug and if mine I would treat with alcohol based product....wiping, even quite roughly, and generously. Is this infection only on the young ( wood made last year) wood?
                              Unless others have better suggestions this would be my first course of action.
                              Good luck Smudgeonhorizon......nothing wrong with being mother here either :)
                               
                            • Smudgedhorizon

                              Smudgedhorizon Gardener

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                              Thank you so much for the reply. Yes it’s on all the newer branches - but only on the top of all of them. (As looking down on the tree.) The tops of the newer branches are red coloured too, I’m wondering if from too much sun last year. The underneath of all those same branches are the green colour it usually is. I’m starting to wonder if it’s a symptom of some sort of sunburn - or is that silly?

                              I tried to show the colour difference in the photos - the last photo shows the tree trunk and underneath of its branches it’s typical green colour, but those same green branches are strong red coloured with the marks on the top - where the sun would hit. Just seems so weird that a fungus or insect would exclusively affect the top of branches but not the bottom of those same branches.

                              Will rubbing with alcohol not cause any harm if it isn’t mealybug infection or similar?
                               
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