Bonsai Study Group Forum

General Category => Deciduous Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: Steven on June 07, 2010, 05:35 PM

Title: Need help and advice PLEASE
Post by: Steven on June 07, 2010, 05:35 PM
Upon watering all my trees I noticed 4 of my Japanese Beech have their leaves curled(like dried curled). They are green but curled up none the less. 2 of the 4 are 100% this way, 1 is 50% and the 4th is about 20%. I immediately filled a container full of cool water and submerged their pots. Lots of air bubbles. I've been watering everyday with the high temps of late but apparently the water was not completely penetrating the rootball. These 4 I did not get to repot earlier this spring. After soaking them I placed them in full shade. Is there anything else I can do besides hope and pray? I'd hate to lose them as 3 of them are my tallest for a forest planting on a rock slab for next year. Plus where I purchased these and all my others were the best he had. I have nowhere else to aquire any more of this quality. I thank any and all in advance for your time.

I blame myself for not paying more attention, especially the past 24 hours. I'm dealing with work issues that have kept me from fully concentrating on my trees.
Title: Re: Need help and advice PLEASE
Post by: Jerry Norbury on June 07, 2010, 06:25 PM
Remove the crispy leaves to begin with.

If you have access to a high humidity environment - that helps a lot. A mini-greenhouse or such like...

You can stand the trees in their pots in a shallow tray of water - this ensures the saturation of the soil/substrate over a longer period.

What soil are you using?
Title: Re: Need help and advice PLEASE
Post by: seth ellwood on June 07, 2010, 11:15 PM
I agree if the leaves are crispy they are spent and need to be removed if they are still soft and viable leave them keep them in full shade and keep moist but not water logged.
Title: Re: Need help and advice PLEASE
Post by: Steven on June 08, 2010, 07:14 AM
The soil is a mix of lava, haydite, aged pine bark. I use this mix at times myself but the soil in the pots is what was in there when I purchased them last year. I have an 8x10 greenhouse but it does not hold humidity worth a shit. Say humidity is 37% in there I can water down the entire inside to the point of flood and the humidity may only raise upto 40%. I can't figure that out. I have posted this thread over on BV and I'm getting advice there. Going to try those first to see if it helps. I really have no where that keeps high humidity. The only place I could take them that does have igh humidity is over an hour away. That is if he would let me. I'll look over the leaves and see if they need to be removed. Thanks!
Title: Re: Need help and advice PLEASE
Post by: John Kirby on June 08, 2010, 07:30 AM
Steven,
Hi, hope the trees are responding. Two things that can help with Beeches, Japanese maples and other tender deciduous trees in Southern climates- make a shade structure. It doesn't have to be elaborate, can be made as a simple frame with shade cloth on it. Shade cloth not only protects from intense sun, it also serves  to slow down the wind- and yes, to raise humidity. We use 30% in NW Arkansas, you may want t try 40-50% to give you a little more protection.

John
Title: Re: Need help and advice PLEASE
Post by: rockm on June 08, 2010, 08:24 AM
If these are American Beech, DO NOT REMOVE THE LEAVES. You will likely kill them. American beech do not backbud readily--if at all--after their first flush of Spring growth. Defoliating them is a very bad thing to do.

Here's what I'd do (Even if they're European beech)--don't remove the leaves completely. Simply get a pair of scissors and trim off the brown edges, leaving the green. This is less stressful than complete defoliation and leaves the tree with some resources to work with.

Get them into shade. Sun scald is common in beeches in full sun in the Southern states. Beech leaves are pretty thin and susceptible to too much sun. I've had an American beech for about ten years now. I've learned to get it into mostly shade by early June, or crispy leaves result.

Do NOT stand the pots in water for more than half an hour or so--DO NOT leave them standing in water all day. Trees with little or no leaves aren't using water and you could risk root rot as water isn't going anywhere. Keep watering from above until it's moist all the way through.

Don't worry about humidity levels so much. If you're South Carolina, it's not an issue. The issue is probably sun exposure and too little water.
Title: Re: Need help and advice PLEASE
Post by: Steven on June 08, 2010, 08:33 AM
Ok, went outside and looked all 4 over. From what I can tell soaking the rootballs helped some. The leaves have uncurled some, not completely. The leaves are a pale green not vibrant. But since I see some improvement in them I don't think the tree has completely cut them off from access to water. But I'm not sure how much damage has already been done to where the leaves won't photosynthesize. I removed them from the pots to look at the roots. They are not wired in so it was easy. The roots look fine to me but the only visible soil is right on the surface. I tried using a chopstick to loosen up the soil, before taking them out of the pots but I could only penetrate no more than 1/4 inch. They are severely rootbound. Lots of white root tips and mycha fungi. However the rootball was holding alot of water. I tilted the rootball after taking them out and about a cup or so of water poured out. I did this til it was just dripping. So just overhead watering will not completely saturate the entire rootball. Plus the mass of roots is not allowing any excess water drain out the pot. The leaves are not brown in any way. So I know it's not a sun issue. Since the leaves have uncurled some I'm not going to remove them. These are JAPANESE Beech.
Title: Re: Need help and advice PLEASE
Post by: rockm on June 08, 2010, 11:54 AM
"However the rootball was holding alot of water. I tilted the rootball after taking them out and about a cup or so of water poured out. I did this til it was just dripping. So just overhead watering will not completely saturate the entire rootball. Plus the mass of roots is not allowing any excess water drain out the pot. The leaves are not brown in any way. So I know it's not a sun issue. Since the leaves have uncurled some I'm not going to remove them."

I'm confused, if the root ball was dripping wet and holding water, how can overhead watering not soak it?  If the root mass isn't allowing water to drain out, then the soil is completely saturated. The withered leaves may, or may not, come back, even with emergency treatment. It depends on how much damage they sustained when the tree dried out. They may uncurl, then get brown, depends...

FWIW, you can loosen the roots from the surface down by forcing a pencil (or chopstick, or large piece of wire) down through it from the top, through to the bottom surface of the pot. Force the chopstick through all over the surface, making holes like a piece of swiss cheese. That will allow water to penetrate more effectively from the surface.

Initial submersion and soaking of the dried out roots will help recovery, as long as it's not soaked more than is required (I'd say three or four hours at most should do it)  Soaking the roots by submersion every time you water will result in waterlogged, rotting roots by the end of summer.
Title: Re: Need help and advice PLEASE
Post by: Steven on June 08, 2010, 01:01 PM
The water runnig out of the rootball was from soaking the rootball not overhead watering. I was manually watering my trees but apparently it wasn't penetrating enough to soak the entire rootball. That is why I submerged them for about 30 minutes or until no more air bubbles were coming up. Then the rootball is waterlogged. I'll see about poking holes in the rootball. I don't think the leaves will make it. It may or may not be too late to push any new growth. Others I have have been pushing new growth that were not affected like these 4. So, I don't know. If they don't they'll shut down for the rest of the year I guess. I can only wait and see.
Title: Re: Need help and advice PLEASE
Post by: Jerry Norbury on June 08, 2010, 01:17 PM
They could take a number of weeks before they start pushing new growth.
Title: Re: Need help and advice PLEASE
Post by: Steven on June 08, 2010, 01:19 PM
I know. I read Harry's site. He uses Euro's mainly.
Title: Re: Need help and advice PLEASE
Post by: Steven on June 08, 2010, 03:44 PM
The leaves curled back up and are taking on a brown appearance. The leaves are a loss. I poked holes in the rootball with a stainless steel chopstick to allow better water penetration.