second flush Beech problem

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second flush Beech problem

Post  JudyB on Mon May 27, 2013 5:24 pm

I have a EU beech that has a problem with the second flush of leaves. I did a pinching of the first flush a week or more ago, that flush was very healthy. The second inner buds started to open, and the leaves are deformed, with brown spots and crispy curling. I didn't repot the tree this year, it's in 80-90% inorganic. I only fertilize this tree lightly until June, and only organics, so don't think it's salt burn. The first flush was very healthy, and those leaves still look good. I checked the roots, and no root rot.
I've had this tree for quite a few years, and have never had problems like this, and am using the same timings and techniques as usual. If anyone can help me to figure out what the problem may be, and how to treat, that would be great. Also wondering how I should fertilize this tree for the rest of the year, normally, I'd be starting to feed it well in a week or so.
Thanks for any advice and help.

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Re: second flush Beech problem

Post  JudyB on Tue May 28, 2013 12:55 pm

Really? No one has any ideas at all? I did a fungicide spray, I'll see how it goes. Thanks.

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Re: second flush Beech problem

Post  coh on Tue May 28, 2013 3:19 pm

Judy,

After looking at your images again, I wanted to ask if some of the older leaves are also showing symptoms? I've circled a few places where it looks like there might be some chlorosis and spotting of what I think are older leaves.



I wonder if the symptoms are pointing toward a nutritional issue...for example, copper deficiency can cause problems with new growth. I don't grow beech, but there have been several threads here about leaf problems on them, i.e. Help with beech leaves

Sorry I don't have more to offer...good luck!

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Re: second flush Beech problem

Post  JudyB on Wed May 29, 2013 6:48 pm

Hi Chris, thanks for taking the time to respond, and thanks for that link to the thread. Have not had time to read in it's entirety, but did quick hit the first page. Not sure if it's the same problem, as it seems to only have affected the second buds, and it doesn't look the same. Also I water largely with rainwater anyway. There are a couple older leaves with a spot or two, but really almost all the older growth is super fine. I hit it with fungicide, although I think it's too late for this crop of leaves, I just hope it can put enough energy away for next year.
Once again, I appreciate the help!
Judy

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Re: second flush Beech problem

Post  coh on Wed May 29, 2013 7:56 pm

Yeah, it didn't look to be the same problem, but there might be something useful buried in that thread (though it did wander pretty far from the original topic). I think there are also some other beech threads around, but since I don't work with beech I'm not as familiar with them. You might want to check with Jay (drgonzo) as he has a number of them.

One thought about the rainwater - is this something you've switched over to fairly recently (last year or two)? Rain water is quite pure compared to other sources (wells, lakes) so you do have to be careful to make sure the plants are getting enough of the micronutrients, especially if using mostly inorganic "soil".

Please let us know how the tree does going forward.

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Re: second flush Beech problem

Post  63pmp on Thu May 30, 2013 2:41 am

What are you fertilizing with?

I had a similar thing happen to my Beech this year.

I put it down to too much ammonium early in the season. I'll be doing some pot trials in spring to see how changing fertilizer regime effects growth.

There has been some interesting research being down on beech trees over the last ten years. They are ammonium specialists in that they are extremely good at taking NH4 up from dilute solutions. They are also very poor at regulating uptake if solution concentrations are high, leading to ammonium toxicity. This has all sorts of impacts, it inhibits K, Mg and Ca uptake, increases ethylene production in root and shoots, and increases sodium and chloride uptake. It also causes a marked decrease in stored sugars. This all causes reduced leaf growth and marginal leaf burn.

Temperature is a very big factor in rate of ammonium uptake, so be careful fertilizing in spring when soil temps are between 10-15 C. Uptake at 10 C is 30% of maximum, while they reach maximum ammonium uptake at 15 C.

I'll post up some research papers later that are interesting, though technical.

Paul








Last edited by 63pmp on Thu May 30, 2013 2:46 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : clarification)

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Re: second flush Beech problem

Post  Leo Schordje on Thu May 30, 2013 3:40 am

I'm interested in the fertilizer papers. Yes, please post the links. Technical is ok.

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Re: second flush Beech problem

Post  63pmp on Thu May 30, 2013 4:08 am

I have full copies of both papers, I now notice they are pay to view articles, so when I have time I will provide a report of relevant points. Or find the links that provided the free PDF download.


http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0176161704702667


www.pnas.org/content/98/7/4255.full.pdf+html


http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1469-8137.1998.00107.x/abstract

(Edit - if you click on the get PDF on the Gessler paper it will open up for you free. I think I bought a copy of the ammonium tox paper, so will do a summary, its not really worth $41)

Regards,

Paul


Last edited by 63pmp on Thu May 30, 2013 4:17 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : new information)

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Re: second flush Beech problem

Post  JudyB on Thu May 30, 2013 12:31 pm

I did one small dosing of Green Dream, and a few of waterings with bonsai pro, one time added a weak solution of humic acid. That's it for fert, as far as rainwater, I've always used it for my trees. There were a few days that I did use the well water, but it wasn't too many times.

What are you doing for your trees that have this issue Paul? I have stopped all fertilizer for now.

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Re: second flush Beech problem

Post  Leo Schordje on Thu May 30, 2013 9:22 pm

Thank you for all the information Paul. And the links. This is helpful. A lot to wade through and digest, but helpful.

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Re: second flush Beech problem

Post  63pmp on Fri May 31, 2013 6:45 am

Hi Judy,

There are several things you can do that will improve the health of your tree, but it won't help with this year's leaves, they will remain like this.

Move the tree out of harsh sunlight for now. Ammonium interferes with the system leaves use to repair light damage to chloroplasts.

Keep watering with rain water.

If you can, water with the following solution; 1g Potassium sulphate, 2g Epsom salts in 10 litres of water; sprinkle a small amount of gypsum over the soil of the pots. Use this solution for every second watering.

Reapply the Green Dream fertilizer at a lower dose (say 1/2) then recommended in summer. In nature, Beech predominantly take up N during summer (when soil temps rise), which is primarily stored in their roots for next spring. Feeding drops off in autumn. They are ammonium specialists, this is their favored form of N, though they can feed on nitrate N if required.

Check the pH. slightly acidic or neutral pH actually helps with ammonium toxicity, where as low pH makes it worse. I remember Leo saying something about this for Japanese Beech.

Watch the temperature of your soils, overnight lows are a good indicator of soil temps, this will be the coolest the soil gets that day, but a pot in the sun will reach 15 C quickly where the tree is at its maximum ammonium uptake rate. The warmer the soil, the less ammonium Beech need as they can take it up very quickly. You will just have to monitor your temperatures, but basically the warmer the area, the less N they need. This makes fertilizing in a warm climate difficult, and is contrary to the common approach of feeding up plants in spring. They really only need K, Mg, S and Ca + traces in spring.

Hope this all helps,

Regards

Paul

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Re: second flush Beech problem

Post  my nellie on Fri May 31, 2013 10:52 am

63pmp wrote:http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0176161704702667
... ... I think I bought a copy of the ammonium tox paper, so will do a summary, its not really worth $41)

The above mentioned full article you can read online for free visiting this page



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Re: second flush Beech problem

Post  JudyB on Fri May 31, 2013 12:44 pm

Thank you Paul, you are a great source of solid information, and I appreciate your taking the time to help me out. I'll do all of the above, and hope for a better year next season.

In itself the physiology of this issue is pretty interesting...

Thank you!

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Re: second flush Beech problem

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