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Verticillium wilt

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Question from John Kaye


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I have an Acer palmatum that I fear has Verticillium wilt, bought from a local garden centre, any ideas as how to cure it please?

  • Views: 1510
  • Replies: 2
  • Posted: Sat. 5th June 2010 09:41

Re: Verticillium wilt

Reply from Valerie Munro

If it is as you say - verticillum wilt - then sadly there is no cure, and you are best advised to remove the plant promptly, together with all of the soil surrounding the roots.

If you can cut across one of the affected stems, you may see staining in the inner parts of the stem. The cause is a fungal infection, and much of the damage is caused by it blocking the water conduction tubes within the plant. The fungi can be spread by pruning with contaminated sap coming into contact with healthy tissue.

Having cut the stem to search for staining, then you should carefully sterilise your secateurs.

It seems that acers are particularly susceptible to this disease. Whatever you do, do not plant another acer into the same space.

I think that I would go further to suggest that you take the plant back to the nursery (carefully bagged up to avoid any contamination) and suggest that they replace the plant. If you bought it this season, it is more than likely to have been something that happened when it was in their care rather than in yours..

Good luck
Auntie Planty

  • Posted: Sat. 5th June 2010 10:01

Re: Re: Verticillium wilt

Reply from John Kaye

Thanks Val, I am pleased you gave me the answer, the tree is in a pot, and I will remove it in a few moments for fear of contamination. When I bought it last year, I noticed then it had shrivelled at the ends, but was told it was due to water on the leaves, then hot sun!!
I will take it back as you suggested, and hope they replace it, pity really, it was a wonderful shape tree.
Thanks again, John Kaye

  • Posted: Sat. 5th June 2010 12:26