Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Sad and Unsightly

I was saddened when I looked out my office window yesterday to see that the Forest Pansy Redbud tree had split. I didn't remember that it had two trunks or I would have taken care of that long ago. As it appears It won't be long for this world. It was such a big beautiful tree. I liked the feeling of being in a forest when I looked out the window while I sat at my desk. Especially during summer when the leaves were thick on the tree. During spring this tree hosted many migrating birds too. Sigh~~
Since we had to make a trip to the stick pile with the remains of the FP Redbud we had a hard look around the garden. The Apple tree had several dead limbs on it. So my DB got after it with the chain saw. Needless to say we had a truck load to take away.
My biggest concern is the Apple tree now. It is old and I don't know what kind it is but it has such character with its old gnarled limbs. It appears that it has some kind of fungus on it. I have never seen this before. Does anyone know if this will kill the entire tree or is it going to be just a nuisance?
There is also some kind of weird fungus on the hawthorn fruits. I just wonder if the apple tree fungus is related to this fungus. I have never noticed either in years past. The poor birds and bees will have trouble this fall finding something good to eat.


  1. How sad, Lisa! Losing a plant is one thing, but losing a tree is much more difficult to take.
    I don't know anything about your apple tree problem, but it doesn't look good.
    I've been noticing a lot of yellow leaves on our flowering crabs. When I looked more closely, some of the leaves resemble the rose leaves eaten by Japanese beetles. I'm hoping they're not doing permanent damage.
    You can't just replace a full-grown tree!

  2. Hi Lisa..... I am not sure what type of fungus you have on your apple tree but if you still have some green on the leaves the apple tree is trying to fight the spread.....perhaps if possible you could cut out the worst areas and keep your fingers crossed.

    The hawthorn, I have never seen anything like it....most unusual...

    Its sad to lose trees and you can never replace the character of an old tree. I personally would stick with the old apple tree.....if she is dying she will be a host for much wildlife and I am sure you could find out if it is a serious fungus....

  3. Lisa I have seen that black spot on many of my roses..this year..never have I seen it so bad. I have cut back quite a bit with hopes that things will shape up. With a tree I don't know what to tell you..I know that this year one of my cherry trees is leaking red sap...all the way down with a puddle on the ground!!
    Too bad about the split tree!
    Raining here ((a lot lately)) too as I type this.

  4. The fungus on the apple tree may be related to the black spot fungus that roses get. When you have a wet year, as we have had, it is likely to be worse. I'm not an expert, but I think the tree may defoiate early, and I've heard you should rake up the leaves and dispose of them- not in the compost heap. It should be okay the next season. We have an old apple tree, and it does this some years.
    Also, Rose, Japanese beetles love crabapple trees. Anything in the rose family is fair game to them!

  5. Lisa, this is not your year for trees! How sad. I hope ou can find a good replacement for it. I think the fungus may have to do with all the rain this year. But I would take some leaves to a garden center for their opion. Good luck.

  6. :-( Sorry, Lisa. I haven't had any experience with your fungal problems, but as already mentioned, with all the rain you've had, fungi of all types will be having a field day.

  7. Here when an apple tree gets a fungus it is often apple cedar rust...Red cedar being a host tree. I don't know about up north!

    I am sorry that you have lost the Forest Pansy...they are lovely trees and not easily replaced at the size it had grown to...but you know that! Are there any redbuds sprout everywhere...I don't know if FP breeds true.


  8. I agree Rose. It is worse to lose a tree than a flower or bush for some reason. I guess one reason is because it takes so much longer for a tree to mature.

    Cheryl, I am sure I could find out more about the fungus. I may delve into it after work this week.

    Not a good sign for your cherry tree NG. I had a weeping cherry that did that one summer then it died. I hope your cherry tree survives.

    I hope you are right Joyce that this is just a "wet year" phenom.

    Beckie this has been the worst year ever for trees. Maybe our trees are just getting to "that" age.

    Yes Marvin, we are having some weird fungus showing up in our mulch too. You would think that as dry as it is now that fungus would disappear.

    Gail, we have plenty of your regular redbud seedlings all over the garden. The Forest Pansy has never to my knowledge sprouted a seedling.

  9. When Austin had too much rain last summer there was a time period where tree branches just started crashing down from the weight of too much heavy new growth - maybe that's what happened to your Forest Pansy, Lisa?

    Will this cultivar sprout new topgrowth from the roots like the regular redbud does after a bad winter?

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  10. I am fretting over the loss of that tree, Lisa. Maybe, as Annie suggests, it will sprout from the base!

    As for the apple tree, they are susceptible to many fungus problems and fall cleanup of leaf debris is essential. You can spray with dormant oil spray with a lime/sulfur component before bud break in the spring. Now you can use a Bordeaux mix which is a copper compound. If you do nothing, the tree will probably be fine, just unsightly. Good luck!

  11. Dear Lisa,
    I am so sad for your tree and for your gardens and your birds. Losing a tree is very difficult.
    I am still grieving over the lost trees in my yard. I remember when you lost the Pine... I do understand how difficult it is.

  12. Lisa, I'm sorry to hear about your tree. Loosing an ornamental tree leaves a big hole that takes years to fill.

    I have had cedar apple rest on the old pasture apple trees for years. The spots on your leaves don't look quite like mine. If that is what your tree has it is more cosmetic than threatening to the tree. Good luck with it.

  13. That's just so disheartening. Redbuds are notorious for dying suddenly for no apparent reason. At least you know what happened to this one. If it doesn't resprout, you can get another one and plant it in the same spot, as you know it is a good place for them.
    Cedar-apple rust is quite common around here, taking turns on Junipers & crabapples and apples. It could be that your tree is having trouble fighting it off because of the rain. Wait til next year & see how it is doing. If you really like the apple, you could taking a cutting this year and start a new tree from it. Apples & Crabs aren't long-lived to being with. It might be time to start looking for a replacement.
    BTW, the word verification is "pleee."

  14. R&L, it is hopefully some kind of rust that won't kill the tree. I will pick up the leaves this year. We usually let all lie where it falls.

    MrMCD, You are right about this spot as being a good place to grow the FP Redbud. I may give it awhile to see what happens.

    That word verification is hearing my pleee of mercy.

  15. Lisa, I'm sorry about your tree. It is especially sad knowing that so many birds will be affected.

  16. some sad photos, but a good reminder that amidst all the joy and beauty that surrounds us in the summertime, there are still things/people who are suffering!

  17. Oh, how heartbreaking to lose that pretty 'Forest Pansy' redbud! I hope that, like Annie and a few others mentioned, it will sprout up from the ground for you.

    As far as the others, there is a cedar-hawthorn rust as well as the cedar-apple rust... but your rust on the hawthorn fruits looks oranger than the ones shown here at the Missouri Botanical garden:

  18. Kim, thanks so much for sending that link to the MO Bot GArden site picture. I think it may be the same thing only not as severe maybe. I don't know. I just hope all survives.

    Thank you for everyones concern.

  19. Lisa, I was going to suggest cedar apple rust, too. In our area (no doubt yours, too) it's hard to avoid, since cedar trees are native and widespread. That's where the rust begins, then spreads to the apple trees. I posted a bit about this earlier. What kind of apple is your tree? It seems that 'Red Delicious' isn't bothered by the rust, which is lucky for us, because that's what we have.

    I feel awful about your redbud! We have been trying to grow a nice one here for a few years now. It seems they grow so slowly. When I was growing up, there was a redbud right outside my bedroom window and I loved it.


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