Beech - Fagus Sylvatica leaf problems

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Beech - Fagus Sylvatica leaf problems

Post  R3mco on Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:02 pm

Hi everyone,

About one and a half months ago, on my beech in training, all the leaves in the center and on the primary and secondary branches went brown and some started dropping, which is not normal for beech.

The view:


Top view:


I've also noticed that there is some white powder like substance on the leaves that are still there:


Is this some sort of disease my plant has, or is this normal for a beech? I've checked out some images of actual beeches and saw that most were shiney and nice green, not the darkish green with the white I have now.
Maybe it could be the weather? It's been a bad summer with lots of rain and now it's pretty warm again (22 C) with almost no rain....
I've also read about salt deposits in the soil that are bad for beeches, so I watered it pretty well to keep washing salts out (although I use 100% rainwater all the time).

Please help me Smile

Greets, Remco

R3mco
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Beech - Fagus Sylvatica leaf problems

Post  my nellie on Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:20 pm

I have had the same problem. This white powder suggest oidium & powdery mildew.
It's a fungal infection. Humidity on leaves is favourable for emergence of this disease.
Since there have been lots of rain in combination with high temperatures as you mentionned, those were favourable conditions....
Your beech needs antifungal treatment. Somebody experienced will give you accurate advice, I'm sure.

my nellie
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Beech - Fagus Sylvatica leaf problems

Post  R3mco on Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:32 pm

Thanks for the quick reply Nellie.

My knowledge of fungal infections and such is very limited, so when I look at something like this, I honestly dont know what it is Laughing

It's time to start hitting books about tree infections and fungals, might make my trees survive longer!

Thanks again!

R3mco
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Beech - Fagus Sylvatica leaf problems

Post  drgonzo on Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:29 pm

You definitely have powdery mildew, spraying will only stop its spread but will not cure the already infected leaves. But spray anyway and use a dormant oil when you put this tree to bed for the winter to help prevent it re-curring next spring.

Your leaves browning out from the center seems to indicate a root problem to me. At this point in the season theres not much to be done, but In spring take it out of that pot and get it into a good VERY free draining inorganic soil, What is the soil mix your using? look for dead or diseased roots. Healthy Beech roots almost look a bit reddish. Beech leaves naturally go brown at senescence but as you say this started a month and a half ago-Also the "curl up effect" visible in the photo could be evidence to support water stress.

It doesn't look like a salt burn (trust me) also Powdery mildew can be aggravated or even caused by root issues which is what I suspect here, luckily it looks like she made reasonably strong buds for next year.

And finally welcome to the world of beech leaf problems. Laughing
-Jay

drgonzo
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Beech - Fagus Sylvatica leaf problems

Post  63pmp on Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:32 am

I'm thinking this might also be a water retention problem.

Does the pot only have 1 drainage hole? And does the pot sit on the bench as you have pictured? This can impair drainage.

The mix looks like it might have truble draining. A simple fix while waiting to bare root and repot is insert string about 30cm long into the drainage hole and let it hang through the bench. This will wick water from the bottom of the pot, improving aeration. Insert the string about 2-3 cm into the potting mix using tweezers or something pointy.

I've used this technique to keep trident maples healthy when they miss repotting.




Looks a little odd, but if there is water pooling it will run down the string and drip of the end.

Paul

63pmp
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Beech - Fagus Sylvatica leaf problems

Post  drgonzo on Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:43 am

Now that I look closer I believe I can see Lichen and liverwort growing on the surface of the soil, that would indicate you indeed have a soil related root issue, sodden soil, anaerobic soil and possible root rot. Stop watering the tree. Your soil is probably not free-draining and is saturated. Beeches will NOT tolerate saturation. You have a nice tree otherwise, just get it into some good bonsai soil next year and you'll probably be fine.

PS- Beeches are also pretty tough and can bounce back even from root problems. Good soil will solve many Ills with Beeches.
-Jay

Wild guess here...Is this a Yamadori?

drgonzo
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Beech - Fagus Sylvatica leaf problems

Post  coh on Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:58 am

I've always thought that if one suspects a serious root problem, that immediate repotting is the best approach, regardless of when it is in the growing season (exception - not in the winter!). Is it better to leave the sodden/potentially rotting root mass through the winter, or get it cleaned out now? Lots of my plants are showing very strong root growth right now (evidenced by the active roots coming out the drain holes) - wouldn't it be better to take advantage of this time of root growth by repotting now, followed by keeping the tree relatively protected from the cold for the winter?

Are there signs of active roots at the bottom of the pot, or in the soil if you dig down a little? Is the root ball solid enough that you could lift it out of the pot and evaluate the roots? If they look good just put it back and deal with it in the spring...if not, repot now. What do people think?

Caveat - I have no experience with beech...

Chris

coh
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Beech - Fagus Sylvatica leaf problems

Post  drgonzo on Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:45 am

This is always the tricky question and is one I've faced recently myself. Twice.

is it better to leave well enough alone and deal with a root issue in the spring or risk making things worse by disturbing the roots during a time seasonally where they can't heal themselves? I only act If I believe the tree could die as a result of my inaction therefore I have nothing to lose. But thats my main qualification for action....death.

This tree has few remaining green leaves and additionally the buds haven't hardened themselves off yet, in fact there is still some green visible on the buds , they could still be being supplied by the roots. This is one of those cases where I don't think the tree is in imminent mortal danger.

Beech themselves are pretty resistant to root rot in the fungal sense. I believe the roots could be in bad soil and that effected the tree. If it were my tree Id leave it till spring.




drgonzo
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Beech - Fagus Sylvatica leaf problems

Post  R3mco on Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:29 am

Thanks for the replies everyone!
There are a lot of valuable tips in here.

Using oil to keep away pests and other nasties, what kind of oil do you use? Vegetable oil? Olive oil? Do you mix it a little with water and finely spray it on or just rub it on the leaves that are still there?

The problem with this tree is that I bought it at a bonsai nursery, and they use large shelves that they put water in from time to time so that it absorbs from the bottom. I only water from the top with rainwater, like anyone doing bonsai would. So that might be the problem, I overwatered it...
The mix it is in now looks like it is part sand, part pumice and lots of organic garden soil (the stuff you get "en masse" in garden centers).
I was planning to repot it in early spring to my usual soil mix, 2 parts akadama + 1 part black lava (sometimes red lava). I even layer them, so course, then medium, then fine, using those nice japanese sieves. Then wait till winter to begin styling.

When I do repot early spring, should I wash the roots completely? I read somewhere that its not good if you wash off 100% of the soil from beeches.

Thanks again! Smile
Greets, Remco

R3mco
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Beech - Fagus Sylvatica leaf problems

Post  drgonzo on Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:45 pm

Use Neem oil or any product listed as a Horticultural dormant oil.

I think we have the answer here, it was overwatered and in bad soil, once you re-pot I'm sure it will bounce back well.
I've never had any issues bare rooting a Beech tree, sometimes its necessary with Yamadori collected around my way with heavy clay soil that needs to be hosed off the roots.

I'm curious what have you heard about their reaction to bare rooting?
-Jay

drgonzo
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Beech - Fagus Sylvatica leaf problems

Post  my nellie on Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:57 pm

R3mco wrote:... ... When I do repot early spring, should I wash the roots completely? I read somewhere that its not good if you wash off 100% of the soil from beeches... ...
The reason is that the beech has symbiotic fungi living on her root system which are useful to the tree.
That's why you should keep some quantity of old soil so that the fungi will multiply and colonize new soil.

my nellie
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Beech - Fagus Sylvatica leaf problems

Post  R3mco on Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:08 pm

Hi Jay,

Thanks for the oil tip, I read some pages on it and it's a great item to protect your trees during winter periods.

For the bare rooting:
I read it on wikipedia, in Dutch (http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fagus_sylvatica). I haven't read the English version of it, yet.
It basically says, if you are planting it (like for a hedge), it lives in symbiosis with Mycorrhiza and therefor the roots should never be washed off completely before planting.
The wiki also says it should never be planted in areas with too much water, or too much dry sand grounds. So I think the soil I'll be using will be perfect.

Edit: Nellie got it first, i was still writing Smile

I inspected the tree once more and lifted it out of the pot (with soil attached)(easy Smile), to find out the root system is pretty good, with healthy growth. It's the problem of there being too much organic soil and sand in it, so it just holds too much water. I've kept it for 2 days in the full sun (about 12 hours per day full head on sun), and the soil was still too wet for what I was "used to" with plants growing in akadama soil.

I also carefully scraped to top soil clean, removing everything that shouldn't be there and replaced it with some medium akadama to protect the roots at the top from drying out and die.

Tonight it will receive a light shower of fungicide.

I think i should start praying it wil surive Laughing

Greets, Remco


Last edited by R3mco on Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:10 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : edit)

R3mco
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Beech - Fagus Sylvatica leaf problems

Post  drgonzo on Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:51 pm

I am surprised as I read further into the subject that Beech and Oak do indeed have the symbiotic Mycorrhizal fungus. F. Sylvatica is particularly noted for this relationship with regards to Sulfur availability.

I will do my root cleaning with my little root rake from now on, and will spare the garden hose. Always learning!
-Jay

drgonzo
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Beech - Fagus Sylvatica leaf problems

Post  coh on Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:00 pm

Sounds like you should probably be able to nurse the tree through the winter if you keep the soil a little on the dry side.

As for the question of when to repot...I've definitely lost more plants by procrastinating than by repotting at the "wrong" time. Don't get me wrong, I've also lost some of the latter group - but I think it's because I let things get too far along as opposed to repotting at the wrong time. It's a decision I'm never sure about. In fact, I've got a juniper that I've been debating about. I don't like the look of the foliage, but I found some active roots by digging into the soil. So I'm going to chance it and hold off until spring.

Chris

coh
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Beech - Fagus Sylvatica leaf problems

Post  R3mco on Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:00 pm

A followup ...

After I scraped the top soil and replaced it with akadama, the tree went into winter storage and was repotted in March.
I bare rooted the tree to get every single last piece of soil out and put it on proper substrate (3/5 akadama, 1/5 lava, 1/5 fine gravel (local stuff)).
Potted it up into a somewhat 'large' pot for its size, due to the big root that was sticking straight down and had almost all fine feeder roots attached. Hopefully it can be reduced in the future.

For now I'll let it rest and regain strength, styling in winter with guywires, pinching and selective pruning spring/summer 2013 Very Happy

Pictures:



R3mco
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Beech - Fagus Sylvatica leaf problems

Post  drgonzo on Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:41 pm

Looks good so far, You will have to work that tap root you mentioned back at the next re-pot but allowing strong growth this year should help encourage additional new roots to take over once its removed. Horticulturally treat this tree identically to how you would treat a Japanese maple, i.e. Rainwater (if you can manage it) afternoon shade and keep evenly moist. Ericaceous fertilizer every now and then, stop during mid summer then low nitrogen late summer till leaf drop.

i would allow full extension this year and as you mention begin your training next year. (you might be able to cheat with a quick trim after the leaves have hardened off, allow the vigor of the tree to tell you.) Your free draining mix will help stop mildew re-courance this season

Good luck should be a nice tree in time.
-Jay

drgonzo
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Beech - Fagus Sylvatica leaf problems

Post  Sponsored content Today at 9:45 pm


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum