Sick Raintree

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Sick Raintree

Post  Michael T on Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:38 pm

One of my Brazilian Rain Trees appears to be sick.

I keep it in a sunroom under 400w HPS lights.  Put outside during the warmer months.  Been maintained that way without issue for years.

However, we've had record cold temps over the past two weeks and the sunroom nightly temps have dropped to 40 degrees on a few nights. A couple of days were the same temps.  

It's dropped many of its leaves.  And initially I assumed it simply was stressed or otherwise going dormant, but the picture of the leaves below has caused me to question whether its got a fungus or other investation.  You can see the yellow splotchy mottling of the leaves.

It also has numerous small green buds (not dormant, but actually a bit swollen) throughout the tree that have not extended. I've been watching them for a couple of weeks now to see if they are slowly elongating, but they don't appear to be.

I spray with safer's soap every other week to control for mites and scale.

Anyone with Rain Tree experience have an idea?


Michael T
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Re: Sick Raintree

Post  Kinetikx on Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:35 pm

I have quite a few down here in Florida and I have left them out in mid 40's temps occasionally and I've never seen a reaction like that. Generally the leaflets go yellow and drop a few days later in response to cold.

I wouldn't presume to identify what exactly is happening to yours but I figured I'd rule out cold stress at well above freezing at least. Are you certain it didn't get any colder than 40?

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Re: Sick Raintree

Post  LanceMac10 on Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:37 pm

Raintrees shed due to changes in environment, among other things. The leaves of this species have a limited "shelf life". Exposure to cooler temperatures will damage the leaves as well. As long as the tree displays green buds behind it's damaged leaves, the tree should be fine. Monitor the moisture of the soil, water a little less than normal, but don't let it dry out. The tree is still growing, as long as those dormant buds stay green. For what its worth, mine had no foliage for about eight weeks after I brought it indoors towards the end of September. Sheds like clockwork, but the eight weeks WAS a little un-nerving. Good luck and update!! Shame, 90 views and no tips. Look in the top threads section for Sam's Raintree progression. Some good information there, as there isn't much out there on this tough species that CAN grow indoors.

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Re: Sick Raintree

Post  LanceMac10 on Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:48 pm

Do these affected leaves close at night and open in the morning? When brushed thru with your fingers? If not, they are most likely dead. Let them fall on their own. And its my experience that temperature dips into the 40's will really stress the leaves with the coup de grace coming after moving the tree indoors. Mind you, I am in a zone 5 growing climate, although lately, you folks in the southern United States are getting a little taste!!!

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Re: Sick Raintree

Post  kevin stoeveken on Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:51 pm

hey lance - thanks for chiming in as i have been watching this... i wasnt able to contribute any help, but mine is super mopey since i brought her inside... but this is my first winter with her and i was just following the lessons i learned via my willow leaf ficus re: not panicking over leaf drop... your post just solidifies what i thought and set me even more at ease...

i reckon, come spring/summer it will just ass-plode with make-up growth !

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Re: Sick Raintree

Post  Michael T on Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:03 pm

After taking the picture, about an hour later they were all shriveled up and dead.  Weirdest thing I've seen in a while.

That said, it still has green buds all over sort of partially swollen like they are just beginning to break.  But they've been that way for a few weeks.

There are maybe four or five full leave sets left.  I suspect they will drop.

I lifted the tree to see if I had a root zone problem.  The roots appear to be alive.  No visible rot or smell.  I raked them a little bit and put in some additional rock (fired clay) to improve drainage.

Guess it's a waiting game now.

This tree has been healthy the entire time I've had it.  Never done anything like this.  Very strange.

Lance, one of my Surinam cherry trees also went leafless this year for no reason for about 8-12 weeks .  I almost threw it out.  But, every time I'd scratch some bark, it looked alive so I kept.  It's in full leaf now.  That's a long time to wait.

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Re: Sick Raintree

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:25 am

I second everything Lance said, including the weather comment Smile The idiots, I mean the weathermen are calling for 3-8 inches of snow and we hit record lows a couple of weeks ago.

I haven't seen my leaves look like this at any stage but hopefully it's just typical BRT shedding. The leaves usually go yellow and drop very quickly. As long as you have buds leave it completely alone and slow down on the water like Lance recommends. That's exactly what I do.

The Raintree in my thread is now completely full of leaves, elongating branches and has budded back in an unreal manner; all the way down to the trunk and all in and through the branches including some of the nubs that needs to be removed later this year or next year. I feed a lot.

I hope your tree is healthy and will pull through with no problems.

Keep us posted.
Have a great week!!!
Sam

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Re: Sick Raintree

Post  Michael T on Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:36 am

Pleased to report that the buds on my rain tree are now opening. I brought a heater into the sunroom and it started to respond.

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