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Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Posted by iforgotitsonevermind ♪☺♫ (My Page) on
Tue, May 5, 09 at 12:41

Can anyone tell me why it looks like this apollo sugar maple appears to be dying?

The symptoms: Newly emerging leaves are shriveled and wilted. There is some blackening of the trunk. More towards the lower part of the trunk. Nearby trees of same type are fully leafed out and no problems and no blackening of the trunk.


Blackened trunk

Shriveled leaves.

Shiveled leaves.

Shiveled leaves.

Background:
This tree and the others like it were planted in oct 2005 and have been growing well since then, even performing excellent during the droughts and heatwaves. These trees do receieve supplemental watering if it is needed and by needed I mean if there is no rain for about a month which is likely to happen only during the summer. No visible stress at those times. I even remarked how nary a leaf has ever dropped, tattered or looked scorched during those times.

These trees are not fertilized nor is any herbicide including roundup sprayed anywhere near the tree.

A very nearby arborvitae did come down with bagworms and was treated successfully with systemic fungicide.
I noticed there is a bagworm hanging from one of the branches of the sugar maple but I think it's probably dead and I only counted one.

These trees normally leaf out rather late. I think this is the earliest I've seen them leaf out but this one looks like it is struggling. Going on 2 weeks like this. This is the only one of this particular cultivar that is in full sun. It has a much larger trunk caliper than the others.

Any help would really be appreciated. The nursery these came from is no longer in business and the likelihood of finding a replacement for these is slim to virtually none. I've learned my lesson never to plant a grouping of irreplaceable trees but sure would love to save this one.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

The leaves are wilted,meaning they are not getting enough water. Since soil water seems not to be catastrophically short, the cause is likely to be root damage. Is the whole crown like this, or just several sectors?


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Looks root-ish from here, you have to look at a rot or maybe crown rot (I do see a flare), Maybe something in the phloem...Did you spread the roots so there are no crossing or circling roots? Any signs of canker on the stem?

Dan


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

The whole crown is like that.


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RE: Why does it look like this sgugar maple is dying?

some better photos.

Yes it does have a basal sprout.

The only thing I did see that looked out of the norm is shown here.


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RE: Why does it looke like this sugar maple is dying?

That thing in the above photo is about the size of a nail head. It looks like an actual nail that was stuck in there and has rusted. Very low probability of someone coming along and putting a nail there.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

i cant remember where you are ... but i do recall you are showing your individuality ...

IS THERE ANY CHANCE ... is just a super fast spring flush .... perhaps in a few days or weeks.. it will be able to pump enough water for everything to get is proper shape and texture????

i seem to recall.. some spring.. when spring rushes in so fast.. the plants just seem to flush out so fast.. they jsut need a little time to catch up ..

or at least i hope so in your case.. even though it is a maple.. lol ...

why.. who knows..

i would knock off that little bud just above soil level ...

i also observe that is a lot of growth .. for a tree you are suggesting is weak ... there are a lot of leaves in those clumps ...

i doubt you fertilized it.. but tell us if you did ...

has it been unseasonably warm ...???

ken


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Ken's line is the next thought if there are no borers, canker, root/crown rot indications. No butt/crown problems.

Dan


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

I'm showing my individuality from georgia.

I didn't fertilize it nor do any pets fertilize it and I am cautious with lawn fertilizer and other applications near these trees.

It looks like a lot of leaves because Apollo's, if you have never seen one up close are naturally very densely branched and densely foliated almost as if they were sheared. They are very beautiful and if this one dies it will be missed.

Nothing out of the ordinary with regards to the weather. Not especially hot.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

  • Posted by brandon7 6b (like 7b now) TN (My Page) on
    Tue, May 5, 09 at 14:40

Verticillium wilt?


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Would it be possible to do a root excavation? Maples are rather notorious for girdling.

Did you plant the tree (so that we can assume that it was done properly), or someone else? It can take years, sometimes, for the problems of improper planting techniques to show up. Especially if the trees were nice and healthy in the first place.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

I wondered about the verticillum wilt but the images online seem to show a gradual decline with certain branches rather than the whole tree at once.

Yes, I planted these in holes that were 3x the width of the root ball and removed all wire/burlap. The soil is not ammended.

The thought of girdling roots came to mind as the top most surface root seems to be at a strange angle but it is straight and not wrapped around anything.

When would be the time to do a root excavation? Now or later during dormancy? If root girdling was taking place, why all of a sudden shock to the whole tree rather than a slower decline and why would this one be taking off with a thicker caliper trunk and everything?

This is the tree in question last fall or maybe it was the year before that.

These stand about 10-12' tall and about 18 inches wide.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

  • Posted by brandon7 6b (like 7b now) TN (My Page) on
    Tue, May 5, 09 at 16:34

V wilt can start slow and only impact a branch or two, or it can strike the entire tree. About the only way you'll know for sure is by examining under the bark (probably only if the tree or a part of the tree dies). The sucker at the base of the tree and the wilty foliage are indications of this disease, but can also indicate other things.

The reason a girdling root can impact the entire tree suddenly at the beginning of the season is because that's when swelling occurs. If the girdling root was just right (wrapped pretty evenly around the entire trunk) it could cause similar symptoms to what is seen here. However, I don't think this is the case. For a girdling root to cause this much strangulation suddenly, it would have to be wrapped around the crown and it would be at least partially visible in the picture showing the sucker. We can clearly see the root flare, with no sign of a girdling root. I would eliminate this from my list of possibilities, from what I see.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

So is V wilt your guess as to what it is because that will mean the tree is a goner, right?


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Brandon, I agree and I just excavated 4 young KY Coffeetrees last weekend to replace them, and the rootstock roots were wrapped all around themselves underground and all but the outside one would have strangled in a few years. None of this was visible save for the ill above-ground health of the tree.

Nonetheless, I'm still leaning toward a wilt or rot.

Dan


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

What about the thing that looks like a rusty nail head?

How do I test the soil to find out if it is V-wilt or some other wilt? That could mean the others are next.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

I heard in the south blackening of a sugar maples trunk is common and not a detriment to it's health. From what I remember I think you're in Northern GA so the blackening would be answered by that.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

FWIW,
I would give the tree some time to see if recovers, but if it does not I would probable take a small pocket knife to the spot you found, and cut out a small thin vertical section (very heal-able section) to see what is underneath. It's possible there is a borer, and the section would help eliminate/confirm that ideal, but I have another hypothesis or two.

Looking at the picture where the spot is, if you look closely, there appears to be a band of depressed smooth bark all the way around the tree. Perhaps the tree was tied too tightly or for too long before you got the tree, restricting the cambium underneath. This constriction could result in constricted sapwood and eventually possible constricting flow to the leaves. So now a couple years after planting, the tree recovers from transplanting, pushes a big flush of leaves, but a constricted sapwood layer, not yet fully recovered can't yet support it. Result=wilted canopy that might recover over time.

Another possibility would be that if constricted as described above, then there may have been a wound, or some other wound through which a shelf fungi or Armalaria, or some other fungi entered, and is now girdling the tree resulting in the sunken appearance as the vascular layers are destroyed. Resulting in all the symptoms that you see. Depending upon infection agent, it migh be possible to cut below the infection point for a slow recover. Result=eventual death above infection or slow recover from a stump

And now for my LAST hypothesis. Delayed graft rejection. Again all the symptoms that you see. Result=tree death

Arktrees


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

I don't know what happened to my post I sent lastnight to this thread but I'll write a shorter version to replace it:

Verticillium pathogens are ubiquitous in many soils. Testing for it in your soil would not confirm or negate any diagnosis of your tree.

I also asked if the "rusty nail head" was metallic. Although the picture isn't bad, I still can't really tell the exact nature of the area/object.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Thanks for your continued interest in helping me.

The depression in the bark that looks like it was tied to a stake for too long is actually a pattern that goes up and down the whole stem but it's doing it not just on this tree but on the others as well. The bands are only a few inches apart. Some are wider than others. It's not as pronounced as it looks in the photo. I don't know why I still would have that anyway since it's put on between 1-2".


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar mapxle is dying?

Brandon,

We posted just about simultaneously.

I will get out there later with some pliers or some other instrument and see if I can better see what that nail head is.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

  • Posted by beng z6b western MD (My Page) on
    Wed, May 6, 09 at 9:11

I don't think a nail, or a bunch of them, would hurt the tree -- I have a mature S maple that has rusted barbed-wire & nails all thru & encircling the main trunk. In fact it girdled almost the entire trunk, killing the main leader (half the tree). But the tree has overgrown/embedded the wire and is slowly recovering.

Many older maples I see have hideously girdled roots, but don't seem affected -- the roots seem to eventually merge.

Sorry iforget, but that's all I can offer. Patience & keep us updated.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Well the nail is not a nail at all.

There is just a small bit of bark sticking out there that is discolored but it's not a nail. I tapped it with some pliers and was definitely wood and some of the staining scratched off.

There are some new things on the trunk. There are a few little things that look like ice cream sprinkles but they are an off-white color. they don't look like any kind of borer that I've seen but I don't know what they are.

Thanks for the glimmer of hope Beng.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Man I can't believe I didn't think of this last night. Forgetting my plant pathology. But the picture looks like "bacterial ooze", that can be caused my any number of bacterial wilts. Possible Pseudomonas species as they tend to be very slimy like that. Personally, I would do the section cut I was talking about last night today, and if it is below the bark spreading (and sorry but I think that is what you will find), remove the tree, and dispose (burn or sealed away in multiple bags to a landfill) of it ASAP to keep contamination away from the others as much as possible. Clean all tools and items contacted in a 10% bleach solution, and watch the others CLOSELY for similar symptoms and spots. These bacterial infection can be there for a while before they finally manifest, and then take a tee/plant down in no time. Ever heard of fire blight? Same sort of thing. You might also call your county extension service to take a look to confirm. Wish I had better thoughts for you. But if I'm right this is not something to dally over! Many of these bacterial diseases can take down most all landscape plants.

JMHO
Arktrees


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

It's not really slimy. That whole area is less than half an inch diameter. I don't really see any other areas where it looks like something is oozing other than that but what I did notice is that the blackening of the trunk, which is mostly on the opposite side of that spot (north side of the tree) starts at the base and guess where it ends. It ends just about exactly with that spot.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Slimy is not important, doesn't change anything at all. Bacterial wilt is still what it looks like me, and is very similar to what I've seen before. The black almost certainly (assuming no other insults chemical or otherwise)is a fungi that is often found to grow on sugar maple, and is completely harmless. I still think it's bacterial wilt, but it really doesn't matter what I think. Call county extension/arborist, or do nothing and hope it doesn't die and/or spread to the other plants. That's the way it is, and the choice is yours.

Arktrees


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Wouldn't you think, ark, that there'd be more cankers with a vascular wilt? I'm fine going down this path but I'd like to see more cankers-depressions-more area of soft bark than that one.

Not invested in being right or wrong, I just don't see it, you'd see more indications on the trunk. My thought is likely its from the roots and that means possible wilt.

But by now we're still trying to troubleshoot from a distance and we're somewhat closer, but hard to do from here. Ark is right and County Extension is called for at this point. Go ahead and mention this thread and see what they say.

Dan


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Dan/iforget,
By no means is it certain that I'm right. And yes I would like to see more evidence as well, that would be why I would take a thin vertical slice to try to confirm. If I was wrong, then the thin slice could heal quickly within the growing season assuming the tree recovers from whatever the problem is. But that thin slice could possible support or refute the bacterial wilt hypothesis. Even if it is bacterial wilt, then of course the visible lesion may not be the primary lesion, or may even be secondary to something else. I'm kinda making an intuitive leap, but it is what I think/feel is most likely cause.

Regardless, it needs to be examined locally by someone with professional training and experience with local disease problems. Personally I would like to know what they have to say, as it will help me get better at diagnosing. But the likely cause needs to be determined so that there is a better chance of prevention with the other trees. Those are too nice to let go of easily, and that may mean urgent removal of the affected tree. Currently, we have a couple of small dogwoods I planted last year, that I suspect have Anthracnose (Discula sp.), but it's not a certain diagnosis. Trees were shipped in from elsewhere. Just the same we are removing these trees in an effort to protect the local native dogwood populations. These local natives have not been affected (to my knowledge) by this disease, and we certainly don't want to take a chance on introducing it. So while I like them very much, they have got to go. Might be the same case here. For this/these sugar maple, hopefully I am wrong, but iforget, you need the local agent to tell you that.

Arktrees


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

I'm kinda making an intuitive leap, but it is what I think/feel is most likely cause.

Yup. I do it all the time too.

Dan


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Ambrosia beetles

"We captured granulate ambrosia beetles, Xylosandrus crassiusculus, at CMREC in Ellicott City
this week. Examine trees for wet areas on the trunk and watch for the frass tubes projecting from
the trunks. Hosts of ambrosia beetles include crape myrtle, styrax, yellowwood, birch, zelkova,
holly, deciduous azalea, red bud, maple and Chinese dogwood."

Control: Synthetic pyrethroids such as permethrin (Astro) and bifethrin (Onyx) need to go on
preventatively to keep the adult beetle from boring through the bark into the heartwood.

The above quote is from a weekly nursery report put out by the state of Maryland. This report came out last Firday. You mentioned "sprinkles" and I suppose that could be the frass tubes that have disintergrated. You might do some research on this and see what you think.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

I contacted a horticulturalist with the county and emailed her some pictures and she said she would get back to me tomorrow on it.

When I asked what came to mind as being local problems with maples she said ambrosia beetles. I didn't see any boring holes other than that "rusty nailhead"-legionish looking thing and didn't note any sawdust but sawdust would be hard to see there in the mulch.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Sure that could be frass but only one hole.

Dan


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Oh boy.
The white sprinkles do look like the "sawdust strings"
shown in the picture here. I will try to get pictures tomorrow.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

I hope your tree can be saved. As I stated above, those are WAY too nice to let go of without a fight.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

These are the "white sprinkles" I noticed these on the bark.
The longest ones are only about 3mm long. They don't appear to be sticking directly out of the bark but rather laying side-by-side one another.

I noticed a couple slug-like critters on the trunk last night after dark. Tried to get a photo and thought I did but the photos are not on my camera.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

There you go. That's the key diagnostic. Looks like ambrosia beetle from here. Now you have to get on your other trees to ensure they don't get a visit. Contact your Extension Agent for best control for your area.

Dan


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

But how can you tell and that's not necessarily a good diagnostic since there is no treatment and those suggestions for prevention measures were released just last week.

Couldn't that be any number of other bugs? I don't see any holes there.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Just because there is no treatment has nothing to do with the diagnostic keys. I'm looking at pictures and doing a distance diagnosis. Do what you want with the interpretation.

Dan


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

What I meant was not that your diagnostic was bad.
What I meant was it's a "bad" diagnostic because it means the tree is a goner.

I appreciate your good diagnosis even though it is bad news.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Sorry to see this was the result, but there are a couple of items in your favor.

1. You do have a shot at protecting the others. Would have been much more difficult had it been verticillium, bacterial wilts among many other diseases.

2. It doesn't contaminate the site in a way that would have prevented you from replanting if you choose. Would not have been the case had it been verticillium, bacterial wilts among many other diseases.

Would have been much better had this not happened at all, but it's really not as bad as it could have been.

Arktrees


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

So what do I do now?
I haven't heard back from the county. I waited on hold for 20 minutes for the person I spoke to yesterday then hung up.

How do I protect the others? What do I get or who do I call? I don't have any certified arborists in my area but I suppose I can call one from out of the area.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Take the pictures you posted to your county extension agent, ask them what you should do. See if someone will come out and examine your other trees that might be at risk. Insist on service, they are paid by us. They can send samples to the state lab, they can tell you as a home owner what you can do to protect other trees, how to handle the dying tree that may still has the destructive insect in it and is getting ready to start the cycle all over again, if not this year and then next year. I am dealing with holly leafminers at the present time, and it takes some direct action to get rid of them. The larvae are hatching now and the little black flies are starting the cycle all over again by laying eggs in the new leaves that just came out this spring. I have sprayed sevin for the flies, also, have sprayed a systemic on the leaves for the larvae, as well as treated the root zone with a Bayer combination "feed and treat" product that will be taken up by the roots to kill off any larvae that hatches later this summer from the new crop of leafminer black flies. I knew when to spray for the flies as I bagged the infected leaves every few days and as soon as I saw the flies in the bags, I knew to spray for the flies and then start the treatment for future prevention. I have to break the cycle, and hope the holly leafminer finds someone else's holly to infest.

I used this as an example for what you have to do. Research, use many sources, I printed out about 8 different university documents from the internet and then studied them and went to work. I use to use the extension service all the time, but found out I could deal with many of the problems through researching the web. Sometimes you need them though. I had a Texas white redbud die last year, and I wanted to know why. It had been planted in 2001 and had done very well for a few years and then died. I found a couple of small holes in the trunk. I cut the dead tree down, cut off a piece that had the holes in them and took it to the extension agent. She got out her hand lens, tweezers, alcohol bottle, extracted one or two bettles that look very much like the ambrosia beetle, sent them to the state lab. The lab results were sent back to her, then to me. They were not ambrosia beetles, but one very similar that attacks stressed trees that are already in decline. My Texas white redbud was probably stressed from drought and heat and then the beetles moved in. Insects have the ability to zone in on trees that are ready for them, this particular beetle liked trees that had a low moisture content which means the tree was already dying because it had not or was not taking up enough water to keep it healty and alive.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

I'm in a panic though because I have not been this busy in my work since 2006 and I'm stressed and overloaded from that. Then a couple appliances are going haywire. Now this. But I feel it is super urgent to spray everything else in my yard. How long do you suppose I have to do all this research? I am a bit overwhelmed and might feel better outsourcing this to someone who knows what they're doing.

Are these things not going to infest other trees til next spring or is this a dire emergency to deal with this friday?


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

They probable need to be sprayed now IMHO. Did a little reading, and it said there can be a couple generations a year in some area's. So spray now.

Arktrees

Here is a link that might be useful: Biology and recommended control.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Where are you located? (State, county) I promise I won't come looking for you, but am just trying to figure out who can be called on to help.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

The OP is in the metro Atlanta area.

I'm sorry about your tree!


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Bartlett Tree people may be the people to help if you do not or can not get assistance from the county extension people. Bartlett people have their own lab and will be able to identify your particular species of beetle. Also, they should be able trap live beetles on your property and tell you how bad a problem you may have. If needed, they may be able protect the rest of your trees in they are in danger of being infested. Also, they have tested different species of trees for different problems and can recommend a replacement tree that may be less attractive to pest and disease for your area.

I have never used them myself. But, I have attended training sponsered by professional organizations where a Bartlett tree expert was the key speaker.

Thought for today:

Contributed to John Parker of Cambridge University Botanic Garden as read in the WSJ:

"The reason that these trees look so good, is that these are the survivors. They will survive under our conditions...You grow them tough, they'll stay tough."


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Still haven't gotten anywhere. The county said they don't have enough staff to come out and they have basically been forwarding my pics to the university anyway. They did give me the names of a few certified arborists in the area that weren't on the ISA site. I have yet to have my calls returned form any of them.

The horticulturist said that the uni. said that rusty nail thing is a canker and that the frass tubes were not from ambrosia beetles but they didn't know what they were yet. I asked if they could recommend some brand names of something to prevent them she could not offer any such as that paper from NCSU did. She said it would have to be continually reapplied ever few weeks and that there were a lot of products that contain premethrin (sp?) that were readily available in retail stores. I don't think that is really the case though. Bayer advanced perhaps but I wanted to call Lesco/John Deere and see if they had any of those chemicals mentioned in that NCSU link. I didn't find the time to make that call today.

I guess the bottom line is there were multiple things going on here more than likely. They even suggested the V-wilt and didn't rule that out completely either!


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Fun!

It would be so much easier if plants could talk. And if the OP could examine his tree daily for new evidence of forming frass tubes to get a bug to ID. ;o)

At any rate, the better half worked the County Extension counter for ~2 years and this sort of thing going on throughout this thread is the rule, not the exception.

Dan


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

While working in the plant sciences there would occasionally be persons who would walk in asking for help, and we did all that we could to help them. This MAYBE another approach to pursue. Look to a University with a Plant Pathology Department, forestry, and it would be nice to find a someone in Dendrology (trees). You might also look to entomology (insects). See if you can find out who they are been forwarding the pictures to. Much will depend upon the personalities that you meet along the way. Some PhD's will be very helpful, others will not. Most will at least be civil. Another reason for going this route, is that while very unlikely, it is possible that you have a new introduced disease, and these PhD's would love nothing more than to have a quick easy publication. You could emphasize that it looks like nothing that you've seen on (name a list of plant disease site) to try to perk their inter3est enough to look closer. Be prepared to analyze why it doesn't look like the names possibility. You know how to do that, but be careful how you present it. If you come across as a know-it-all, or that you don't think they know what they are talking about, or evasive, you help will end there. Just a intelligent personal, desperately trying to control a unknown problem is the way to go, and that is exactly what we have.

As fot the extensions agent, they are likely trained in one of the crops, but has to contact to get additional help. As far as I know there is really one guy in the state of Arkansas that handles this stuff. He travels all over the state to nurseries, and ornamental, and Christmas tree farms. You immediate task may be to locate that one or few persons. Look for a site similar to the one linnked below. That link is for Arkansas, but Georgia should have something similar. For that matter there may be some helpful information on the Arkansas site. While I do not have your climate, much of Arkansas will have a climate similar to Northern Georgia, and so like to have some similar problems.

Now for current approach. Personally I not yet convinced that it is ambrosia, but I would begin to act as though it is, and start a spray program. The chemicals that are recommended are not persistent, and breakdown quickly in the environment, so relatively safe from that stand point. Also look at treatments for other potential borers (the "canker" could still be a entry wound), and those might be applied depending upon additional forthcoming information. Work on sanitation, as this could still have a bacterial or fungal wilt component. My actions would be more geared toward prevents of spread, because your current sick tree is not likely to survive. However it does have the value in that you really really need to know what it is to guide prevention. Also I would still take the sample to get more information as to the structure which can tell you much, and look for locations from where fras could be coming from. Those pictures just don't look right, but it could be because of rain knocking them off etc. But that is me.

Arktrees


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Fogot the link.

In a hurry and forgot the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Arkansas Home and Garden


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

My thought was 'why are those frass tubes laying down like that' but without being able to poke around with a knife thus having limited info, whaddya gonna do?

Nonetheless, I agree with ark's approach that the tree should be used to ID what is going on and still has short-term value. I'd wager that there are multiple components working together. There are some good, helpful people at Tech that I'm sure will know what this is very quickly, but can you get to them?

Dan


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

The photos have been forwarded to a plant pathologist who is at the state university about an hour away (I think that's where they are anyway).

The frass tubes are now officially looking more like ambrosia beetles. One of them sticks out about an inch and looks like a toothpick sticking out of the tree. They are tunnelling deeper.

Is there really no way to kill those buggers? What If I use a blow torch in there?


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Is there really no way to kill those buggers? What If I use a blow torch in there?

AIUI they don't go straight in, they wander, drunken sailor-like. AIAUI you need to get ready as you don't want them to fly and do their thing. You need to locate your spray source now.

Dan


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Looks like me and the beetles are the only ones working today.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

I don't see why I couldn't flash fry those bugs with a torch.
I could heat the whole tree up to 180


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

You MIGHT kill those, but rest assured there are others. Get on your other trees, they are the targets now. If there has already been enough damage to wilt one tree, then they are no doubt spreading. In fact burning the affected tree would be helpful to prevent further spread.

Arktrees


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Well here's an update in case anyone is interested.

I was able to finally speak to an arborist that did chemcicals by phone and he suggested that I just D.I.Y. with Onyx insecticide from John Deere in a gallon pump sprayer and cut the tree at the base, bag it and bin it. He offered to spray everything in the yard for $150 which is tempting since that's a little less than a quart of Onyx. Pretty reasonable considering there's about 30 trees to spray.
Only problem is I would have to continually have this done to be effective .

I have Bartlett coming out on thursday for a free consultation so I'll see what they say.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Thanks for keeping us updated, it is a learning experience.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

It is indeed.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

I was looking through my bulletins from the extension service and saw a notice that came out last year about Ambrosia beetles. Under the control section there was a statement that said the beetles of the first generation are in the larval stage at this time. You can apply Onyx or Astro now to try and control the second generation that will come out at the end of June. There will already be damage from the first generation of beetles.

Keep in mind this notice pertains to Maryland, so the generational timing may be different. Your local people will be knowledgeable about the generations of the beetles in your area.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Definitely ambrosia beetles. Usually Ambrosia beetles attack trees that are already dying (with a few key exceptions not known to affect maples). My hypothesis is that your tree died from root rot (possibly verticillium) and was subsequently attacked by Ambrosia beetles. Did you check for vascular staining in the xylem? What about the roots?

It certainly wouldn't hurt to treat the remaining trees with a systemic insecticide such as imidicloprid.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

But I thought systemic insecticide didn't have any effect on ambrosia beetles and is imidicloprid the active ingredient in Bayer Advanced?

Your hypothesis states that the tree "died from root rot."
Only thing is the tree doesn't appear to be dead. The tree appeared very much alive until the beetles were observed a week ago.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Yes, you are correct - my mistake. Pyrethroids should work though. Ambrosia beetles feed on a symbiont fungus that they introduce into the trees. Sometimes these fungi clog the xylem and cause wilting. That might have been the case here. It is commonly accepted that they usually attack stressed trees first though. I have verticillium cause rapid wilt of entire small trees like you have see too. Basically, you might never be sure what did it in this case. Either way, I would protect the others...


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

The person who first reported the widespread damage of the ambrosia beetle in the state stopped by a while ago and declared the tree a goner due to ambrosia beetle.

I asked him about the possibility of something else like v-wilt and he said no.

He also suggested that I D.I.Y. although he said that rather than waste money on Onyx that I could go to the store and get any number of pyrethroids (sp?) under various brand names and use that in higher concentrations.
I was like nah I'm not a chemist, what do you use and he said he thinks they use onyx. OFfered to spray the yard for $200 but suggested I just do it myself with a pump sprayer and to remove the tree myself too.

He said the black staining was from aphids.

Someone else is scheduled to come out tomorrow morning too. I don't really expect the outcome to change but maybe they will be cheaper on the spraying as I really do not have time to go to get the onyx this week.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Back to the thoughts way upthread, there are multiple stressors going on and if you're still droughty, you need to get on watering the other trees to alleviate drought stress. I see the lawn in the background but I'd get a soaker hose out there PDQ and figger out what you're going to do about spraying the others. And you may want to take a beer over to the neighbors and tell them what's going on and maybe there's a volume discount special this week at your chain arboriculture firm.

Dan


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

PDQ?

A guy come out today from the national company someone mentioned earlier in this post.

He was certain it was ambrosia beetle too and quoted $200 to spray only certain trees in the yard but unlike the others he didn't suggest that I d.i.y.
In fact he suggested that I also hire them for fertilization (an extra $50).

When I said "fertlizing stressed trees goes against everything I've ever learned about aboriculture or gardening in general" he said it was possible to fertilize without forcing top growth whilst strengthening the trees defenses against the stresses.

Said I would need two sprayings so that would run $400 just for select trees.

What's interesting is yesterday the guy looked at my ginkgo that I posted about a while ago because it wasn't growing and he said it was slowly dying because it was too shady and the soil wasn't fast draining enough. Today the guy said their fertilization would bring it back to life.

I asked what chemicals they used and he said (accidently I think) that they used onyx.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

PDQ = pretty darn quick

So now that you've gotten several opinions, what do you think you'll do? Do it yourself?


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

The national guy sounds like he thinks he has a "live one". Answer to everything is more $$$ with them. Your first guy is much more honest, I would listen to them.

JMHO
Arktrees


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

I dunno. With the hundreds or even thousands of dollars I will save on all the preventative spraying I will have to do year after year I might a well just figure out how to do it myself.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Which your first guy basically told you to DIY, or at least that is how I read it. But regardless, you better get busy on protection of the others, and removing your current sick tree.

Arktrees


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

The first AND second guy told me to DIY and the third guy made no mention of that possibility. Today is trash day so I'm going to go cut the tree down now and bag it and set it out so it gets out of here asap.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

I don't care for the interaction as reported of the last guy. DIY and PDQ. And a deep watering for the other young trees for a while.

Dan


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

If I'm supposed to mix 2oz of this stuff per 100 gallons how many tablespoons is that per 1 gallon sprayer? ☺


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maplee is dying?

Sorry it's 2 pints per 100 gals not oz.
I calculate that to be about 3 TEAspoons.
If someone who is skilled with mathematics could verify that I would be grateful.


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Try this link. Should be able to help you feel better about it.

Arktrees

Here is a link that might be useful: Conversions


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RE: Why does it look like this sugar maple is dying?

Well this is just fantastic. I have the chemical and a sprayer now to use only it could rain at any moment and tomorrow is supposed to be rainy and windy and monday, tuesday too windy.


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RE: Why does uit look like this sugar maple is dying?

Just for the sake of chronicling this experience, I ended up spraying right after my last reply. It took about 3 mins and exactly 1 gallon to do all the trees and some shrubs.
The wind was so calm and I knew it was my only chance. It rains here about once or twice a month yet it will happen when i need it to stay dry. It looks like some light sprinkles now.


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