smbrach
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Location: Howell, Michigan

Japanese Elm

Hello,
I am moving to a home that has a fairly newly planted Japanese Elm. It is only about 3 feet tall, and appears to be dying. There aren't any leaves at all. Does anyone know what I could do to try to bring it gack into health?

Thnak you.

frogesque
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My first though is Dutch Elm Disease but there are resistant (not immune) varities. Good item about it [url=https://www.extension.umn.edu/projects/yardandgarden/ygbriefs/p425dutchelm-resistant.html]here[/url].

It would help if we knew exactly which cultivor of Japanese Elm it is. Sadly if your tree is infected it's gone :(

frogesque
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[url=https://www.ento.okstate.edu/ddd/insects/smeurelmbark.htm]Another Article on DED[/url]

smbrach
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Actually, I was mistaken. It is a Japanese Laceleaf Maple. I was there today and saw the landscaper's tag. Any ideas?

smbrach
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Also, I noticed that the trunk has a crack about 12 inches long towards the base. The branches are brittle and break easily. If I cut the tree down, any chance that it may come back in the spring? I don't know what zone I am in here in lower Michigan...

The Helpful Gardener
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A rough winter and a hot dry summer spell disaster for lace leaf maples; this one sounds gone. The crack was probably frost damage, and the hot dry finished it off. If there are no leaves now, there never will be.

Sorry for your loss,

Scott

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Grey
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smbrach wrote:Also, I noticed that the trunk has a crack about 12 inches long towards the base. The branches are brittle and break easily. If I cut the tree down, any chance that it may come back in the spring? I don't know what zone I am in here in lower Michigan...
I think this maple is gone. :cry:
Brittle branches, a big crack at the base usually spells dead tree.
At least it's only 3 feet tall - should be easy to dig out and replace. I believe now is a good time of year to do that, so it works out... except for your maple.

smbrach
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Well, thank you for your input. I wish I could have saved the tree, but it sounds like that may not be possible. Do you think that anything would happen if I cut it down? I know that some trees will come back..

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Grey
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I very much expect this tree is dead to the roots.

You can carefully scrape off a section of the top bark on the trunk, and the roots, and see if you see any sign of life. On a tree this young you may still be able to scrape it with your thumbnail - if you see green, you still have life. If not - she's gone. :(

smbrach
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Ok, thank you. I will check it out.

frogesque
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Thanks for the new info smbrach and it does sound as if your tree is now a dead stick. Most Japanese Maple are graft budded onto vigerous rootstock and if the roots are still live but the graft upwards is dead then it will sucker up and produce very ordinary foliage, not the lacy rich copper of the graft. Even if it does survive above the graft I think you will always have a weak tree, (the splitting sounds as if it wasn't properly staked at planting time), so it will always be prone to trouble.

Best to cut your losses and start again.

smbrach
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Yes, I think that is what I will do. :(

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