Author Topic: Identifying the source of satsuki weakness..  (Read 2879 times)

raydomz

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Identifying the source of satsuki weakness..
« on: April 23, 2015, 03:53 PM »
I picked up a very nice satsuki this spring from a fellow member and have been keeping a close eye on it as temps warm up here. A couple of things concern me and I wanted to reach out to those more experienced with the species to see what you all think.
 
My first concern is that the leaves are curled upwards around the flower buds.
I originally did not find this too worrisome when I got the tree as I associated it with cold temps, but as temps have warmed up here and were in the 60's/70's the past couple of weeks I was expecting to see some opening up of the leaves. This could be a trait of the type of satsuki (I believe it is Chinzan or Osakazuki) but after speaking to some others about this I'm less inclined to think so. There has been no sign of new shoot growth at this point.



My second concern is that after removing most all of the left-over brown fall foliage the leaves have continued to show signs of browning/pest/fungal infection. The progress of this seems to be slow and steady, about 1/12 of the bud/leaf clusters a week start to show signs of problems. I did just notice this morning some small white buggers at the base of the leaves but there were only a handful of these little guys.




At this point my only action has been to examine the roots during a repot of the tree.
The kanuma the tree was planted in was very compacted and the root ball, albeit a nice flat one, had hardly extended toward the bottom of the pot. With my minimal satsuki experience I am used to seeing fully filled pots of fine roots. It did not look like there was any root rot, just not a whole lot of growth. This tree had NOT been recently repotted for those of you wondering.
I did not remove any of the root mass, I only removed compacted soil from the base of the root ball. The holes were filled with new medium kanuma and the tree was repotted with fresh kanuma all around. Chopped sphagnum placed on the soil surface and here we are.

So - I'm not exactly sure what I'm dealing with but would love to get to the bottom of it. I am afraid that I am looking at a few problems but would like to know what the best course of action would be moving forward.

Thanks all!
 

base797

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Re: Identifying the source of satsuki weakness..
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2015, 07:37 PM »
I am no expert on your problem(s), but since no one has chimed in, I thought I'd relay what Peter Tea instructed me to do last year. I had some scale and fungi issues last spring.  He believes in a preventative systemic pesticide (you have wholly aphids) and systemic fungicide. His advice, based on his time studying in Japan, is to treat with 2 specific chemicals every 3 months and he said I will have no problems. So far, I have had no issues and the fungicide targets specific fungi and will not harm beneficial mycorrhizae. It's always dodgy to recommend systemic chemicals and I am sure some are against their use, but I don't like problems, especially ones that when noticed are typically a lot harder to deal with by then.

The products are:
Pesticide- Merit .5 G
Fungicide- Cleary 3336 DG Lite

Both are systemic and applied as small granules.  What he said I would encounter, and I did, was that it's only available in rather large quantities, 30 lb bags I think. I believe these are mainly used at golf courses and the like.  So, I purchased both chemicals and have been selling 1lb bags to club members locally. Not very much is required, I would need to double check my notes, but it is about a teaspoon per sq/ft.  I assume (from the warnings on the bag, which you can google and see the bag and specs) that these are fairly powerful and should be treated as such (wear gloves, avoid breathing, etc) PM me if you want.

Hope that helps.

Patrik
 

raydomz

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Re: Identifying the source of satsuki weakness..
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2015, 08:13 PM »
Hey Patrik,
Thank you for chiming in.
My experience with satsuki is limited and my experience with the associated pests/fungi is even less so I appreciate what you've contributed.
I sent you a pm, I'd like to give both products a try.
 

DorianJF

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Re: Identifying the source of satsuki weakness..
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2015, 03:02 AM »
Hi

Also no expert on Azaleas but maybe this will help.

http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/shrubs/azalea/common-azalea-problems.htm

Azalea Gall – This azalea disease commonly occurs in early spring on new leaf growth. The leaves become curled, fleshy, and pale green to white. Affected leaves eventually turn brown and should be removed and destroyed.

Good luck.
 

base797

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Re: Identifying the source of satsuki weakness..
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2015, 11:55 AM »
Hey man,
I can certainly help you out with the pesticide and fungicide, but I am not experienced with them enough to know if they are purely a way to mitigate issues (used preventively) or if it also works well as a treatment to an existing condition. Also, I would not wait on starting to try something asap. The week turn around waiting for the arrival of the clearly and merit products could make a difference as well as a couple of days for the systemics to make their way into the plant and become active.

In other words, I would probably go to a local nursery and purchase a topical pesticide and fungicide and apply them immediately. Lastly, be more vigilant with checking moisture in the container when watering as a stressed plant will likely use less water than you might think and over watering could become an issue.

I'll check the pm now.

Patrik