Acer p. problem

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Acer p. problem

Post  chansen on Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:49 am

I was cutting back my maples this evening, and I came across some black spots on the trunks of two of my acer p. I'm not sure what it is, and I'm hoping it's not serious. A little more background... The trees were purchased in Virginia when I was living there (humid), and I moved back to Utah last summer (very dry). They were overwintered in an unheated hoop house, covered in mulch up to the trunks. I've had some twig die back, but nothing that seemed significant. We've had a relatively cool, wet spring.

I also noticed what looked like huge scale. I'm used to seeing smaller scale infestations, but this was significantly larger than what I'm used to. About the size of the nail on my little finger. When I removed them, they oozed orange-yellow. I don't know if it's related or not (or if it's really scale or not). I've attached a picture of the black spots on the trunk. The trees have been growing very well this spring. Lots of healthy looking growth. They were repotted into akadama, pumice, lava and bark. There was some root work, but not a ton was removed. The trees get morning sun and are generally out of the wind. Any identification/advice is appreciated.



Best,

Christian

chansen
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Re: Acer p. problem

Post  Kev Bailey on Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:14 am

That looks like large scale but it could also be a small moth. Try a hand lens. Do any of them have fluffy stuff around the edge? You are lucky and have caught it early. On my maples this larger type seems to always appear on the side of the tree away from view! Another good reason to turn trees often. Squishing them (with gloves, if you are bothered by the ooze) works well.

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Re: Acer p. problem

Post  chansen on Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:45 pm

I'm pretty sure this isn't scale. They aren't squishable, but are more like a stain on the trunk. I also don't see any fluffy stuff around the edges. One some of the twigs that have died back, they seem to have blackened as well (if that helps any).

Thanks for the help,

Christian

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Re: Acer p. problem

Post  JimLewis on Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:43 pm

Those spots might be where the scale was -- yesterday.

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Re: Acer p. problem

Post  chansen on Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:36 pm

I'll continue to watch it and see what happens. Thanks all for your responses.

chansen
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Re: Acer p. problem

Post  Randy_Davis on Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:03 am

Christian,

The worst case seniaro is Verticillium wilt which is common in Japanese maple. The disease usually appears as a black strip along a branch or branches of the tree and will get larger with time. It is a soil borne fungus and there is no remedy to the disease other than cutting out the affected branches till you reach unaffected wood. Keep an eye on the tree and if the spots elongate vertically and you see branches dieback rapidly above the infection that will be your sign that you have the fungus. Do a google of "verticillium wilt" and you'll find some good articles written by many horticultural schools in the country.

ta ta for now,
Randy

p.s. I hope it's not verticillium!!!!!

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Re: Acer p. problem

Post  chansen on Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:00 pm

Thanks Randy.

Vert. wilt is my fear, although after doing a lot of looking/reading it seems like there are a few things it could be that would be equally deadly. If I were to need to remove the spot in the photo, at that point I may as well throw it out. It's a multi-stem Acer p. and the photo is of the largest trunk in the back of the clump, and the spots aren't too high up. But I would rather get rid of one tree to prevent the spread to others. I'll quarantine the tree for a while and see what happens.

Thanks,

Christian

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