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Holm Oak (Quercus Ilex) Shedding - Advice please?


 
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tomoshea
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 24 Jun 2014
Posts: 7
Location: wicklow

PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 3:42 pm    Post subject: Holm Oak (Quercus Ilex) Shedding - Advice please? Reply with quote

Hi hoping someone has seen this before or has some advice.

In Feb 2014 I had 9 relatively mature (an expensive) 4 metre standard Holm oak (quercus Ilex) trees planted for screening. I believe the trees came from Italy originally.

They appeared to settle in well last year, however this year one of the trees is showing some signs of distress (I think).

It has started shedding leave - having said that there is also new growth emerging on the same tree in the same vicinity of the shedding.

But from the photos attached you can see its looking rather bare compare to its neighbours.

Has anyone seen this before, or got any advice - all insights appreciated.

I have done a google search but its not turning up much by way of insight.

The tree to its immediate right is now starting to show some discolouration on a few leaves though very few to date.

Photos below show the tree, some of the leaves, some of the new growth etc.

All trees have been drip feed water constantly for the last few months for fear of root drought. Question



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tippben
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 896
Location: north tipperary

PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a root problem. I suspect that you bought the plants root balled, not containerised? Some of the root system has died, and the foliage is dying back to balance it. It could have been physical damage (dug out badly, leaving half the root system behind, or even somebody accidentally dropping it on the ground during transit), drought (once dug, a day without a soak would put it under enough stress), which are the likeliest culprits.

The new growth is encouraging. Feed that plant! Slow release Osmocote would work. Watch for signs of wilting though. With those kinds of discoloration on the leaves, it could possibly be Phytopthera ramorum, a soil and water borne fungus, which would necessitate removing and burning the affected plant, plus replacing the soil in order to save the other three.
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I posted a longer reply to this but for some reason it came up no post submitted, so Im not going to post it again, i dont think you have a major problem it looks like new leaves being produced and older ones falling off. DEffo not a disease as they are not long enough in the ground. Keep watered and check the ties and keep weed free. with big trees like thiis you still have a lot of maintenance to do for the next few years. Just because the came from a nursery does not mean the person who lifted them knows what the were doing but thats a different story and if the came from italy how long were they traveling ,were the watered protected from wind and exhaust fumes etc.. best of luck with them.
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tomoshea
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For clarity - The trees have been planted since February 2014 - 15 months ago

The trees were delivered in containers they weren't root balled, I would have thought if root damage occurred when planting they would have shed last year and not this year?

I had a mature 7 metre beech tree that partially died last year (top of the crown - root damage, it was root balled) - planted at the same time as oaks. It made a partial recovery this year.

The trees were all panted in fresh new compost soil (the old soil was removed) to maximise potential for them to survive, they are on drip feed water system and anytime I see a dry surface they are wet again overnight.

I fed them last year over the summer - no issues.

I fed them in March this year - Almost all the trees appear to be thriving.

Is there any possibility this could be caused by over feeding, and this one tree was just particularly susceptible?

Given all of the above.... do your views still hold?
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tippben
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 15 Jan 2011
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Location: north tipperary

PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not overfeeding. Trees that size have usually been field grown, then containerized. I worked for several years for a company that imported lots of stock of this size. It was not unusual to find plants that had been containerized recently, with too small a rootball, and not grown on for a year. They send those to fill orders, and because the same tree can then be sold for a large mark up. It often arrived dry as well. There were always some losses.

The only other thing I can think of is that the sickly tree was planted slightly lower than the soil surface, causing root suffocation. It could also be something like vine weevil, that was in the plant when it came from Italy. It is something inherent in the root system of that particular tree. Your cultivation of them is fine.
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