The Japanese Lantern Tree (Crinodendron hookerainum)

lucyfretwell(ireland)June 20, 2011

Has anyone any advice for me here?

This tree is now about 50 years old.

For years I have ignored advice as to clearing the lichen from it since it seemed to struggle through with it.

This winter however it was completely defoliated with the very severe (minus 10 centigrade at least for some length of time) frost.

In the Spring it rebudded and I relaxed again but now I am noticing that , even though there is a profusion of leaves the actual coverage of the tree by them is rather limited ( the branches and the lichen are extremely visible) as well as some of the new growth having died off so that I am still cutting off some dieback.

I have again been advised to remove the lichen as this is weakening the plant in its now vulnerable condition.

Can I no longer ignore this advice or can I nurse this tree back to health (possibly covering it up in the winter if extreme conditions are forecast again) ?

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

are you sure that it is lichens..

they have no impact on the tree ... period ... that is am aware of anyway .... perhaps i am wrong ...

any chance at a picture to further an ID???

i realize you probably dont have zones... but the link suggests this is a tropical tree ... presuming your ID is proper ...

ergo.. it would not surprise me that a cold winter would cause significant problems ... and if that is the case.. there doesnt seem to be much you could do on a proactive basis ...

what does surprise me is that it has been there for 50 years ... i just dont equate ireland with florida type temps .. over a given 50 year period ...

pix please


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 12:36PM
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sorry I can't help with pictures as I am trying to sort out my phone with regard to that at the moment.

But I am positive about the identification , both as regards the tree and the lichen since I would know a lichen myself , plus the person who warned me about it would be quite knowledgeable and plus that I Googled an image of a lichen since you cast a doubt in my mind.

I have also Googled the tree in Google Images and am entirely satisfied it is the same one (although it looks like it can go by the name of Japanese Lantern Tree or Chilean Lantern Tree -Crinodendron hookerianum) .

The link that you posted would tally with the temperatures that we get over here as it withstands temperatures down to minus 6 or 7.celsius .

This year and last it did go below that I think but that was exceptional and it didn't last the whole winter either.

So yes , over 50 years I suppose we cannot have had lower temperatures than the winter that has just gone (it is thw West coast of Ireland).

I was also a bit surprised as to why lichen would harm a tree but there are some people you can't argue with and so I didn't .
But she repeats this warning every time she sees the tree even though she accepts it is an indication of a clean atmosphere..

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 4:03PM
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Yep, ignore the advice, the lichen is harmless. Much more likely is that the severe cold killed some of the bark on the branches, as well as the foliage. And it'll take the plant a long time to recover from that.

BTW, it is Chilean, not Japanese; not sure where that error came from.

Ken - Crinodendron is a popular plant in Ireland, doesn't surprise me at all.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 6:30PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Resin got there first but just to confirm that the West Coast of Ireland would suit Crinodendron hookerianum fine. Mild temperate, moist and probably with acid soil. It would also suit lichens very well. I'd just keep an eye on it and give it time to recover. Then remove any dead and damaged bits when you are certain they are not going to recover.

Ken, you are right about the zone concept not being much used in this part of the world. Ireland is not at all like Florida but it is the winter minima which are relevant here and they have relatively mild winters there. But as Lucy says they had record lows last year.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 4:27AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Somebody probably thought the flowers looked like Japanese lanterns.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 10:21AM
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There seems to be a relationship with age and lichens.....the older the tree, the more lichens seem to populate the branches :-) Or maybe they just become more noticeable as the host plant ages and the lichen colonies grow. But they are quite harmless and not contributing to any particular decline of the tree itself.

Crinodendron only seems to thrive in the most protected areas of my zone and is really considered marginally hardy here. Damage to local specimens occurs when the temps drop below 20F for any length of time and several local plants I am aware of didn't survive our past winter with several periods of low temperatures into the low teens to 10F.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 11:03AM
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