Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Madrone S.O.S.

Yesterday I noticed two more sickly limbs on our little Texas madrone child (Arbutus xalapensis). So I got on the horn and emailed Mike Prochoroff at The Madrone Way. Here's what he wrote back: 

"The difficult distinctions of Madrone reaction to water, especially in the summer, is that root damage from too much and too little water look pretty close to identical. The dark interior veins probably mean too much. The rest of the tree looks fine. Hold back on the water. Sparingly is the idea. I have native trees that do this same type of singular die-back, and a colleague in Washington state asked me if I had observed it. So I have a feeling it's common to both species. Again, heat plus water spells trouble. Don't prune the die-back, and let me know if they turn a hard-black or a dark-brown. Another compound problem I have had is when they wilt due to excess water (this is in a pot; different from the earth), giving them additional water exacerbates the problem since the remaining roots aren't re-growing as quickly (no root hairs). Patience."  Thanks, Mike!

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