Possible Scottish Thistle Dieback

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Possible Scottish Thistle Dieback

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:49 pm

I'm depressed.

My Scottish Thistle made it all the way through the winter with temps below -15 degrees at times. I took it out with all the other trees to begin soaking up the warmer weather and sunshine. My intel on thistle says it should be good to around 25*F. We had a morning low of 32 with no apparent frost and now it appears that half of the tree is dying.

I will monitor it closeley to see if it is just the leaves and hopefully, it will begin its Spring comeback shortly.

Jay

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Re: Possible Scottish Thistle Dieback

Post  Kev Bailey on Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:02 pm

Jay, I've never heard of a tree with this common name. Any chance of its proper name?

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thistle die back

Post  alex e on Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:30 pm

Hi Jay , sorry aboot yer thistle, canny have been a pure breed
must have a wee bit o sassenach in it! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol!

Alex

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Re: Possible Scottish Thistle Dieback

Post  Hawaiian77 on Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:53 pm

Howzit Jay,

Sorry about your tree Cuz. Sad Hope it will recover. Any chance you can post it up??

-Tim Cool

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Re: Possible Scottish Thistle Dieback

Post  JimLewis on Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:58 pm

According to this -- http://www.scotshistoryonline.co.uk/thistle/thistle.html -- the Scottish thistle is the emblem of Scotland. Over here it is a pestiferous weed to be rooted out of horse pastures ASAP.

It's a soft-stemmed annual. Can't imagine this is what you mean.

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Re: Possible Scottish Thistle Dieback

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:20 pm

Damn! Sorry, typed that out and never even caught it.

Not thistle, heather. Not a tree, actually a ground cover.

My Calluna vulgaris as it looked last year:



Showing the branching:



Flowering:



When I first got it after the first pruning 2 or three years ago:


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Re: Possible Scottish Thistle Dieback

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:22 pm

But, that was a great photo of a thistle in flower...

I like it!

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Re: Possible Scottish Thistle Dieback

Post  fiona on Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:32 pm

JimLewis wrote:...the Scottish thistle is the emblem of Scotland. Over here it is a pestiferous weed to be rooted out of horse pastures ASAP.


Yeah? Over here, we eat them for breakfast!

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Re: Possible Scottish Thistle Dieback

Post  fiona on Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:48 pm

I have lost a couple of my Ericas too, Jay, the casualties being an Erica arborea and an Erica x veitchii. I'm assuming weather conditions were the culprit but four others survived - including another arborea and another veitchii.

Are you sure it is completely gone? Sometimes they die back in the cold season a but resurrect themselves in Spring. If it's not a complete carcass, why not hang on to it a bit longer and see what happens?


Last edited by fiona on Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:43 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Possible Scottish Thistle Dieback

Post  Kev Bailey on Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:40 pm

Ericas are routinely burned by moorkeepers to initiate plenty of new fresh green growth for the Grouse. Heathers have the ability to spring back phoenix like from the ashes. Feed with ericaceous plant food and topdress with peat or an acid soil conditioner such as rotted pine needles. You should soon see whether it is just an aborted branch or a more serious problem.

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Re: Possible Scottish Thistle Dieback

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:07 pm

As far as I can tell half to 3/4 has turned brown. Since heather grows all over Scotland in some fairly cold places, it might simply be a seasonal change and I need to watch for new buds, but the sudden change from the day I took it out of the cold frame to the next morning was too sudden for my preferences.

On a thistle note, I had a corrections officer working with prisoner run plantings at our courthouse give me an ornamental Artichoke, that looked like a softball sized thistle. I planted it in a flower bed in my back yard, I had one decent flower standing tall in my plants. once it was to begin dying I was to harvest the flower so I could get the seeds for next year. The plant is an annual in our climate.

Before I could get to it some farmer came into my yard and pulled it because he didn't want it getting into his farm fields. My house also sits in the center of the town.

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Re: Possible Scottish Thistle Dieback

Post  gordonb on Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:32 am

Kev Bailey wrote:Ericas are routinely burned by moorkeepers to initiate plenty of new fresh green growth for the Grouse. Heathers have the ability to spring back phoenix like from the ashes.
Perhaps you need to unlimber your blow torch, and . . . Razz Razz

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Re: Possible Scottish Thistle Dieback

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Sat Mar 27, 2010 12:30 pm

Every year of so I have to renew my forest with a good fire.

Then I go to the store and buy more!

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Re: Possible Scottish Thistle Dieback

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:50 pm

My Calluna APPEARS to be making a comeback. Even some of the brown areas appear to be showing some green.

I'm excited!

Fiona, does heather, in the wild, normally turn brown during the winter months?

Jay

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Re: Possible Scottish Thistle Dieback

Post  Kev Bailey on Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:56 pm

It's no good asking Fiona, it turns white where she lives. Laughing

Round here it turns almost every colour under the sun as the stupid garden centre providers have taken to spraying them with dye!

Great to hear that yours is looking more hopeful.

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Re: Possible Scottish Thistle Dieback

Post  fiona on Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:22 pm

Kev Bailey wrote: It's no good asking Fiona, it turns white where she lives.
HAH! That was only this year! The answer, Jay, to your very sensible question is yes it most often does and the moors around where I stay are pretty much autumnal browns at the moment.

Kev Bailey wrote: Round here it turns almost every colour under the sun as the stupid garden centre providers have taken to spraying them with dye!
Yeah, I've noticed that is this year's trend. It's completely hideous!


Fiona
(live from the top of a remote lofty mountain peak, which is of course the only type of habitat there is in Scotland. The cheek of these ruddy Welsh townies!)

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Re: Possible Scottish Thistle Dieback

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:43 pm

I guess what concerned me most are the pages on Scottish Heather that list it as an evergreen. This is the first winter that it stayed outside, although in the coldframe. It stayed green until just after taking it out (when it hit a cold snap.)

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Re: Possible Scottish Thistle Dieback

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