Author Topic: Drought Affected Trees: Can I Save With Dormancy?  (Read 3780 times)

lvillebonsai

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Drought Affected Trees: Can I Save With Dormancy?
« on: September 25, 2015, 10:30 AM »
Hi,

I've recently had a problem being home enough lately to give my trees water. 90% of them are deciduous temperate climate trees in training (maples and elms). Most of these now have leaves that are mostly browned and fallen. I suspect I'm going to lose them, but I wanted to know whether I might save them by "inducing" the darker conditions of winter, putting them in my garage, for example. I can't simulate the cold, of course. The thinking is that maybe the leaf loss can be mitigated by tricking the tree into sleeping.

Any experience with this? Is it worth the effort?

I should add I'm in Zone 6B, so autumn leaf fall is probably just 3 weeks away.
 

bwaynef

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Re: Drought Affected Trees: Can I Save With Dormancy?
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2015, 01:04 PM »
I DOUBT it'll work, but I'd probably try it.  Once the leaves start to show color, I've been told its safe to remove them.  Doing so now risks the tree using its reserves to generate new leaves that wouldn't have time to harden off.

Good luck and post a follow up on how it works out.
 

0soyoung

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Re: Drought Affected Trees: Can I Save With Dormancy?
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2015, 02:02 PM »
I think there is very little you can do at this point. They are already 'asleep' or they are already dead.

If they have green stems or you find green under the bark (just scrape with your thumbnail or cut carefully with a knife) they are still alive. As long as there are still buds at the shoot tips and/or leaf bases (where they join the stem), they are alive.

Meanwhile, if they may be alive, water sparingly- but don't let the soil/medium go completely dry.
 

snipologist

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Re: Drought Affected Trees: Can I Save With Dormancy?
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2015, 02:19 PM »
I agree with Osoyoung to check for green under the bark and then water moderately.  Also keep the trees out of direct sun as that will stress whatever roots may still be left alive.  I would also use a vitamin solution such as Suerthrive or similar brand to reduce the stress on the tree. Do Not fertilize the trees.
 

Tall guy

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Re: Drought Affected Trees: Can I Save With Dormancy?
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2015, 06:01 PM »
Many trees if drought stressed in the fall of the year will shed their leaves anyway, as a coping mechanism. So you could be ok.