Are black buds a typical finding in spring in certain trees?

ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)March 21, 2012

I bought a tree from a very reputable online nursery (not ForestFarm). It's for our front yard.. It's called the American Hornbeam. We ordered it in "clump" form.

The tree's form is absolutely stunning. It's 5 feet tall and easily the most beautiful tree I have ever seen.

However, there are some things that concern me but still being a novice I thought I would ask you to see if these are things to keep an eye on or not.

The rootball was a desert. Bone dry. There was no moisture mechanism with it when it arrived like newspaper or gels or anything. It appeared as it if had never been watered, ever. The 5 galls root system was so potbound that I had no choice but to make 4 cuts around the rootball, and I loosened up and stretched out as many roots as I could. I had soaked the rootball prior to this and during it

And finally the trees branches and buds. The trees branches are BRITTLE as heck. The buds, the tips of the branches, are all black. What does that mean?

I watered the tree well, and watered it even more when I planted it I have gravelly sandy soil that drains fast so it could handle all the water I gave it.

Are these findings: dry rootball, brittle branches, and black buds/tips of branches normal? Or are they just indicative of a thirsty tree and now that it is being watered it will come "alive" again?

Thanks in advance.

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salicaceae(z8b FL)

It sounds dead - but only time will tell.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 10:23AM
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Could possibly sprout from the root collar but I would not be hopeful. Can you return it?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 10:56AM
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How long was it in the packing box before you planted it?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 10:57AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

doesnt sound good ...

i would immediately put the seller on notice of a potential claim ... BY PHONE .. and explain that i understand that it is early .. and perhaps it will spark to life.. but that if it doesnt .. that i will expect a refund.. or a replacement .. if not immediately.. then at the next shipping season or fall ...

i have found.. that using sugar.. is better than calling and reaming them a new spigot ... to mix a metaphor

half the time.. when it is this early.. they will immediately ship a new one ...

other times.. it is too late.. and they will ship in fall ...

just never forget .. that odds are.. the peep on the phone .. usually has nothing to do with the whole fiasco .. but if you piss them off.. you are really messing up your odds of a favorable result ...

now.. lets be honest.. you did not really expect every single tree that you planted this year.. to live.. did you???

and i think we are going to have to drag you.. kicking and screaming.. into the 21st century.. by continually insisting that you post some pix ....


ps: black buds are usually dead.. but for perhaps a red leafed tree which might look black .. but if they are squishy.. rather than firm.. for sure dead ... once you see those.. then you do the scratch test.. to see if you can find any live green cambian.. just under the bark ... if both.. then its probably dead ... but you will never know what is going on under ground ... but your first thought should be whether it is grafted.. or on its own roots ... and whether what might come up from underneath will be the tree ...

i have had a couple trees.. over the year.. that did NOTHING .. and i did as i said above.. and actually got early replacements.. only to have the darn first one.. BUD OUT IN AUGUST ... lol ...

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 11:52AM
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ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)

Hi everyone.

We planted the tree the moment Fed Ex showed up. We unpackaged it and then I went to getting the rootball soaked with the hose. After I untangled/cut some roots we then planted it. I can guarantee the tree is happier now than it was. No longer wrapped around itself and now in an airy, rocky, well drained soil with a billion earthworms.

I called the woman. She was a sweetheart. Her name is the same as mine and what I loved was that she assured me that the tree is guaranteed for a full year and not to worry about that, that they would make it right.

However, the tree may be fine after all. She had me go out and do a couple of tiny scratches on the tree and everywhere was a bright lime green color. The buds aren't squishy at all.

She told me also that this American Hornbeam is a late leafer so to give it some time, but if it doesn't do what it's supposed to do then call them and they'll send another one. I hope it doesn't come to that because this tree is spectacular. I really like how she didn't act defensive or hem or hawed about covering the tree if needed. I can see why her company is a Dave's Top 5 nursery. They really care about their customers.

I know, Ken, we need a digital camera and a cell phone. We have neither. We don't live off the grid, but we're not that far from it. lol

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 1:15PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

Her name is the same as mine and what I loved was that

===>>> her name was .. ILOVEMYTREES???

WHO KNEW there were two peeps with that name ... lol


    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 1:37PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i am glad you left them nameless .. and though complained.. did not slander them..

only to find out later how nice she dealt with you ... and then not be able to get rid of such on a post ...

crimminey.. you dont even have a camera ... what are you.. like a hundred and fifty years old.. lol ... [dont answer that]

you dont need a cell phone ...

are you still on AOL dial up service ...??? surprised you have a computer.. lol ...

ok.. enough ribbing for today ...


    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 3:43PM
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ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)

Update on the tree:

The buds all over the tree, over the past few weeks, slowly turned a light brown color and then into a reddish color. Soon after, they started swelling to the point that we could see the buds easily from the front window, where we couldn't see them before. And now the buds are starting to ever so slowly open with leaves. The green is just now barely visible, but it's there!

Hooray! The tree is alive!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 7:55PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Thanks for the update.

Nice to hear happy endings as well.

BTW, I posted this from my smart phone/favorite toy!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 9:51PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

yippee do!!!


    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 9:40AM
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