Is this Sago Kaku Japanese Maple ever going2come back or it is dead ?

Ivan Turbinca
July 16, 2019
last modified: July 16, 2019

Hi guys

Not sure what happened with it, I think it was premature ice melting, warm temperatures followed by a freeze. It survived one winter in Toronto and then it died the next one (this year) .

It now looks like below. Is there anything to save here or I should cut it down?

Comments (9)

  • Ivan Turbinca

    Note sure why the pictures show up as loaded when I try to add them but then they disappear

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    Sorry, but that is one very dead tree. Colored barked Japanese maples are overly prone to bacterial blight, Pseudomonas syringae, and that is very evident by the black patches showing all over the stems. Winter cold damage and heavy rains/excess water can encourage infection and there is really no preventative measures.

    Ivan Turbinca thanked gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
  • Ivan Turbinca

    The bottom side branches that still have red bark tried to produce some leaves in the spring but then they dies ...not sure why. What if I cut the tree and leave the roots there...any chance that it will grow anything out of that ?

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    They died because the bacterial blight is systemic throughout the tree. If you cut just below the graft, there is a chance you wll get some growth from the rootstock. But it will just be a generic Acer palmatum and not the Sango Kaku.

    IMO, this is not worth keeping. I'd get rid of it and replant with another JM less prone to pseudomonas or something else entirely.

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

    i tried twice with colored bark maples... and neither favored a z5 winter ..

    and i suspect you had a z5 or worse winter ... on top of what gall suggests ..


  • Embothrium

    Agree with "Gall" except that because you had so much damage to this planting I wonder about the wisdom of spending more money on additional attempts with any Japanese maples (or other trees prone to bacterial blight). For instance on one property I have been involved with for some years in addition to attempts with grafted Japanese maple cultivars* failing there has even been a problem with a red maple (Acer rubrum) dying back in the past (we eventually removed it) The site receives air from farther uphill so I assume cold damp air sitting over it in the fall just makes it too ideal for bacterial blight.

    *Also a poster that used to write at length on another site, had some kind of commercial involvement in the past repeatedly asserted that careless production practices were resulting in grafted Japanese maples being sent out to retailers pre-infected internally with bacterial blight. So that although the plants looked clean at time of purchase by end consumers they went on to blight off visibly afterward, as the blight become more developed

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    I've grown a great many different types of JM's over the years and supervised the growth and planting of scores more in a professional capacity. Based on my experience I can say that not all JMs are equally susceptible to bacterial blight. In fact, you will often find references to it affecting specific cultivars more so than others. For whatever reason, colored bark JM's - any of the coral bark culitvars; Sango Kaku, Beni Kawa, Aka Kawa Hime, Fjellheim; and those with gold/orange bark: Japanese Sunrise, Bihou, etc. - seem genetically predisposed to this infection.

    Other than Corallinum, I have never encountered this issue with any other cultivars.

  • Ivan Turbinca

    I have another JM (can't remember the name now, it is dense and a dwarf species, usually groomed in a semi hemispheric shape) that is fine... I wrote about it in previous posts...that one is doing well. I too believe that this guy was not meant for this zone (Toronto) ... I might try to get it out of there and plant the roots in a large planter that I could move to a shed over winter.and try my luck with a blood good which seem to do well in my neighborhood, my next door neighbor has one in front of his house (it is also exposed to winds but backed by the house as the south side...mine is on the line between houses currently, I will plant the new one just a couple of meters to the right of this dead one to place it between two distant houses (mine and the house you see in the picture, on the right side, with my house at half the distance from the dead tree to my neighbor's house

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