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Tamarisk appears dead

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My Tamarisk appears to be dead, there is no sign of life, although on taking a cutting from one of the branches the wood underneath appears to be healthy. It is in situ northfacing and spent almost 4 months either draped in heavy snow/hard frost.
What is you advice?
Thankls & regards.

  • Views: 1349
  • Replies: 5
  • Posted: Sun. 23rd May 2010 18:58

Re: Tamarisk appears dead

Reply from Kathy C

Hi, Bellscott,
I have a few questions...how long has this been in the ground? Are you in a coastal area or inland? Given it is in a north-facing site, how much sun does it get?
Tamarix tetrandra does best in full sun and, in coastal areas, well-drained, sandy soil. Inland, it needs moister soil but it does need shelter from cold, drying winds. Given that, even though it is hardy, the winter weather you described may have been too much for it. When you took cuttings, did you see a green layer right below the bark? Try giving it the 'scratch test'. Choose a smaller branch or stem where the bark is thin. Scrape away the outer bark with a fingernail. If you reveal a layer of green (called cambium) then it is still alive but will probaly need ample time to recover from a hard winter. If not green, try lower on the plant. If you find green lower, cut it back to that point. It might recover.
Kathy C.

  • Posted: Tue. 25th May 2010 22:23

Re: Re: Tamarisk appears dead

Reply from Bellscott

my apologies for delay in answering.
1. It has been in the same position, the middle of the front lawn for 5/6 years.
2. Situ, the Clyde Vally, South Lanarkshire, with a beautiful view of the Campsie Hills to the north.
3. Gets the sun from dawn to 11am, then from 5pm till dusk.
4. The soil is fair to good, with the odd moss problem, the grass around it is faily healthy. The Muscari at the base of the tree all flowered as usual this spring.
5 On taking my cutting, I did not notice any green below the bark. I was more intense on looking at the state of the wood which appeared fresh, free from markings and a clear sandlewood in colour.
6. I did prune it last autumn, after flowering, to get some shape back since it had all gone stragly.

I hope that this info will be of help in your valued assessment.

Thanks/regards.

  • Posted: Wed. 26th May 2010 20:03

Re: Re: Tamarisk appears dead

Reply from Bellscott

I have managed to take some photos my my tree, and in the process I have noticed cracks from top to bottom on the main trunk.
I assume that this has been caused by the exceptional heavy snows and hard frosts from November last through April this year.

I take it that my tree is now dead, that there is nothing that can be done to save it?

I await your reply, with best wishes & regards.

Thank you,
Bellscott.

Re: Re: Tamarisk appears dead (27/05/2010)Re: Re: Tamarisk appears dead (27/05/2010)Re: Re: Tamarisk appears dead (27/05/2010)

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  • Posted: Thu. 27th May 2010 18:55

Re: Re: Re: Tamarisk appears dead

Reply from Kathy C

HI, Bellscott,
Unfortunately, I would say the tree is dead. It definitely looks like frost heaving damage on the trunk. This is when the cambium layer froze in the hard frost, most likely at night (which caused it to expand). As the sun hit it the next day, it thawed that layer quickly, causing it to contract quickly. This probably happened a number of times in the course of the winter. All of that contracting and expanding left space between the bark and the inner layers of the tree. The cambium can't transport food and water in this state so those cells die. There really isn't anything to do at this point, I am sorry to say. I had this happen to a mature Japanese maple and it was heartbreaking!
Kathy C.

  • Posted: Fri. 28th May 2010 15:29

Re: Re: Re: Re: Tamarisk appears dead

Reply from Bellscott

Thank you very much for your expert reply - now to dig it up and look around for a replacement - I will probably put some summer bedding in the area and in the autumn will lift another species from the back of my garden and transfer it to the front.

I can't remember what it is, so, first of all I will need to find that out.
Once again, thatnk you and best regards.

Bellscott

  • Posted: Mon. 31st May 2010 19:40