Thread: Help a complete newbie with his seedling

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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Central Oklahoma - Zone 7 for now

    RE: Help a complete newbie with his seedling

    With few red maples here, I'm sure that most of the 'silvers' I see are 'pure'...but possibilitites seem to be rather endless overall.


  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    New Berlin, WI


    Well, I figured out what those white spots were. Powdery mildew. Pretty much everything I read about the disease was exactly what happened: the lower leaves were affected the most, the powderiness, and now, the little black dots.

    I don't even know how the mold decided to grow anyway. It's not in the shade, it's extremely well ventilated, and now it's quite cold.

    Should I just cut (or pull) off the leaves now and hope for the best in the spring? Then, as good measure, it would probably be a good idea to spray it with sulfur or something. My little tree is under attack...

    Here are the pictures...

    Here's one for example:

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Central Oklahoma - Zone 7 for now

    RE: Help a complete newbie with his seedling

    That sucks! I wonder if there is a 'source' nearby or such? I've had p-mildew show up here and there before where theoretically it shouldn't have, and just applied the approp 'med' - never came back. It shows up several places at once, far from each other - no idea why, and alwasy in full sun, too. Odd- and I just tolerate it to a degree, but never really bad, IME.

    As far as your tree, I would let it go dormant, then toss that soil far away (or in trash) *then* get it ready for winter. It should be OK as long as it is dormant, or close to being so. They are tough trees. It likely would hurt nothing to cut leaves off (mid-stem is fine) and put 'em trash (wash hands before touching other plants, of course) if its fairly cold already there. New leaves are not likely to emerge, IMO.

    Bottom line, there are worse things that could happen, and this is not all that 'bad' - but must be dealt with to help keep it from reocurring or getting upon other things nearby. Feces occur, to misstate a popular saying, and next year should be much better for tree/you

    Did not see if I mentioned this earlier - but is that 'potting soil' tree is in? Clay-based, or very water-retentive soil? If so, could be (probably is, IMO) a source of the problem. Potted trees *hate* potting soil, and it will affect roots/growth like ya wouldn't believe Always use a 'gritty' non-potting soil medium for trees-in-pots. I grow some species with no dirt whatsoever - just bark mulch and pebbles, and they *love* it. Care is a bit different, but results would amaze you, I bet. I can give you some links if you care to keep tree in a pot - lemme know. Its more or less a bonsai-thing without the 'styling' attention and other things related to appearance of trees In-ground is always best, but growing in pots is great *if* the soil-medium is appropriate. Potting soil is *not* - nothing could be worse - other than a block of concrete, LOL.

    Start with this link and go to "Soil - why earth is not like a pot and be sure you understand what Brent is saying clearly. It will change how you pot things from then on, I guarantee it


  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    New Berlin, WI


    Well, it got worse. Much worse.

    I had buried the pot in the place specified earlier, and I thought that the tree was ready to survive winter. It looked pretty weird just stickin' out of the ground over there, but I thought that it was safe and warm. How I was wrong.

    A couple days later, I walked over to the tree to find.... nothing. Nothing was left but a few fragments and a tiny stump.

    There were only two fragments that I could find of the tree, and on these I found what I thought were stress fractures. Apparently, a rabbit or some other creature had grabbed the tree and snapped it, ate a small portion, and walked away. Oh, the humanity!

    Knowing that there was still a pot full of roots, I am hoping that there is still a chance that the tree can come back and sprout new stems. I'm not sure whether it will be normal-looking, lacking its terminal bud, but it'll be something.

    So, I brought it inside for the first time in months and let it warm up for a day. Yesterday, I watered it, and am now hoping for the best. I don't know whether it is wise to bring it inside in the middle of winter, but I thought that it needed all the help it could get to grow again, especially if it were to be planted at all next year. Without any leaves, I also thought that it wouldn't be able to tell that it's winter still. Maybe it wasn't the best decision, but it has been done.

    Maybe I should just buy a sapling to plant next spring, in addition (hopefully) to my poor little tree.

    P.S. The top layer of soil has been swept away and replaced with natural soil, so the powdery mildew spores shouldn't be a problem anymore.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Central Oklahoma - Zone 7 for now

    RE: Help a complete newbie with his seedling

    Not uncommon - and I kinda have to laugh, while still feeling your pain. I have had that happen before a number of times..and if there's good roots, it *will* come back as big as ever - trust me on that

    Silvers, or silver hybrids grow *fast* - probably faster than most (all?) other maples. I fully realize your 'pain', shock, surprise and all - but, one thing in your favor -> at least it was not something that only grows an inch a year in the best of environments, right? Is it OK to say "coulda been worse"?

    Just leave things be as they are right now, and when the soil warms up, it will be "announcing its presence with authority"

    AAUGH - just finished reading the post - DO NOT let it warm up :O If its dormant, it will be fine. I have actually cut soem of my trees to the ground, like the cottonwoods and some willows just so they are not tempting targets to attract 'wildlife'. Its not the leaves that 'dormantize' the tree, its the roots The roots are the 'bigger' portion of a tree overall as far as importance - much easier to replace above-soil growth than the below-soil portion... (not a lecture, OK, but let it sleep and you will be very surprised what you get in Spring!)

    It takes more than just a day to 'awaken' a dormant tree, so if you put it back outside, all should be well. You will not be able to provide an environment for the tree if you try and keep it inside - I know as I take care of a lot potted trees on a routine-basis w/ my bonsai-hobby I have probably 20-30 'pots' semi-buried outside for winter-protection of roots - dormancy is a must, pretty much (!!)...otherwise just toss the tree as it will be horrible next Spring and not worth your time/attention whatsoever. Irepeat, you will be *very* surprised how much (re)growth a 'silver' will give from just roots (!)...

    HTH, and sorry that happened, but it won't be the last time either (young trees are sugar-coated candy to 'vermin')


  6. #26

    RE: Help a complete newbie with his seedling

    Yes, trees need a dormancy period to live (except tropical trees and plants, which most house plants are). IF you bring it in warm temperatures, there is a very high chance it will die after 1 to 2 maybe 3 months (if it did barely make it would be very weak and would die the next year). Put it in place that has chilly temperatures, least some light, and stays around 40F maybe 45F until spring, but what ever you do don't let the roots be in freezing temperatures. Or you can put the roots under ground which will insulate the roots from freezing temperatures and then mulch with shredded leaves etc., but don't touch the trunk with mulch. And if you don't want animals bothering your tree outside put up some fence around it until it reach several feet tall at least.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Central Oklahoma - Zone 7 for now

    Re: RE: Help a complete newbie with his seedling

    Quote Originally Posted by treeman
    And if you don't want animals bothering your tree outside put up some fence around it until it reach several feet tall at least.
    Not to dispute you, treeman, but its been my extensive experience that its not the height of the wood that slows down the rodents munching, its the 'caliper/thickness' (age, per se) that prevents/discourages 'em. Stuff that is thicker and older is not what they want - its the thinner, more supple twigs and long skinny trunks that are used to line nests with - seen the nest and always thin stuff, fwiw. Little critters will go right through the little holes in fences and chew into pieces the skinny trunks no problem at all, but when its thicker/older wood they cannot use it for their intended purpose, IMO. Of course, rabbits eat the tender bark which is a little different, but still prefer the skinny pieces, of course - less 'wood'.

    I had a ~waist-high multi-trunked Euonymus alata 'burning bush' slowly disappearing two Falls ago and thought my oldest son was 'paying me back' for being 'stern' (we'll leave it at that, LOL) with him...and the bush started disappearing twig by twig very soon after. After two/three weeks, all that was left were the bigger 'trunks'. About a month later, I was helping him start his (fixer-upper) El Camino and when we popped the air-cleaner top off, we found *all* that bush nicely gnawed into malleable/bendable 4-6" pieces and lining the air-cleaner nice and neat like, but the babies were all dead from something (not me, for the record) - looked like little field mice. I never told my son that I thought it was *him* doing it. Upon much closer inspection of that bush with a mag glass, I could clearly see the bifurcated 'teethmarks' on the twig's stumps from being chomped off The thicker wood was never touched by teeth...hence my belief it is the thickness, not the height as some loooong pieces were taken... just my anecdote for birdvaliant

    The good thing is that when a tree-species grows so fast as to have a good long *thin* trunk (willow/cottonwood/silver maple/etc), it'll almost always regrow back fast enough to not really matter too much in the long run...its why I went ahead and chopped my cottonwoods down to soil-level +1-2" just so as to deny the rats a 'small fortune' in wood, LOL - Rat-st*rds cannot have any *this* year When I can't beat them, I deny them!


  8. #28

    RE: Help a complete newbie with his seedling

    Yep, The thicker the trunk/bark and the rougher the bark the less susceptible it is to feeding. I was just thinking about if the tree was like several feet tall (6 to 9 feet tall) maybe more it might have thick enough bark and trunk to not be bothered by anything especially in the city. Out in the county deer can still damage a pretty tall tree by rubbing the bark off etc (if it was this case some good tall fence around a tree will keep them out until the tree gets older with thick bark).

    The fence I was taking about is like chicken wire or a fence with very small spaces so animals like rabbits etc. can't get through, or maybe even a solid cylinder that's about 4 feet in diameter or so around the tree.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Central Oklahoma - Zone 7 for now

    RE: Help a complete newbie with his seedling

    We're saying the same thing in different words pretty much You say several feet and I think <waist high or so (a quick-growing tree's ~1/2 season growth, so to speak)...

    Regardless, I believe 'valiant gets our point and hopefully he can get his little-buddy through the winter; just keep thsoe rrots from freezing and you *will* have a nice regrowth of *woody* Maple come Spring I have dealt w/ 'silvers' plenty. Honestly, just an hour or so ago, I yanked out more from flowerbeds here that came up this Spring and regrew from being incompletely pulled the first time. Ain't gonna let 'em come up *again* as they will skyrocket! Also, probably going to have lots of Silver seed come Spring - so PM me then (usually ~mid-March or so) if ya want any - mark your calendar, LOL Or I will pull you up a volunteer (seriously) - a few folks here can attest to such antics of mine....


  10. #30

    RE: Help a complete newbie with his seedling

    Yeah, I was thinking taller than what you where thinking, and yeah I meant can't. I edited and fixed it.

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