doodle by andre: paranoia strikes deep


YOUR NEW JAPANESE MAPLE MAY NOT HAVE ROOTED well, but it sounds like the Buffalo Springfied lyric paranoia strikes deep, into your life it will creep has rooted itself thoroughly into consciousness, hasn’t it? If we recall correctly, first you were going to pass the hot (homegrown?) potato for your plant problems back to the nursery the things came from, and now onto your neighbor? Oh, dear. (Is that the same neighbor whose fence you coveted, by the way, and considered stealing?) When I’m looking for reasons for why my plant died, I just refer back to this favorite poem; it mercifully has something to explain every situation. Thanks, dear doodler Andre Jordan, and we will light a candle for your tree. Just know this: It happens to the best of us, no matter who lives next door.

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, House Things. Here the serviceberries get cedar apple rust (because I have both Eastern red cedar and apples, and serviceberries are related to the apples). But they don’t die…they just drop their leaves early, sadly. Hope to see you again soon (and yes, I think they knew it). :)

  1. bavaria says:

    I recall purchasing 3 bleeding hearts from our local nursery years ago. All were planted in the same soil, same light, etc… Two fizzled and died, and the one left is an astounding, huge, muscular specimen–I think he had the best genetic material. In my early gardening years, I would have been saddened by the loss of the two, but it seems I have migrated to the philosophy of ‘survival of the fittest’. No time or inclination to be nursing along ‘foo-foo’ plants…..well, maybe just one or two!

  2. Charlotte Cantrell says:

    I have a philosophical feeling about plants. When I plant them, I say a little prayer. “Live or Die”…it’s YOUR choice.

  3. andre says:

    house things – oh I am now wondering if ‘Ruby Star’ died because of the look I first gave her puny body when we first took her out of the cardboard box.

  4. Johanna says:

    Someone once said “you are not truly a gardener until you kill something.” I think by “something” they meant a plant, certainly not a neighbor giving your ‘Ruby Star’ the stink eye!

    I am proud to say I qualify as “truly a gardener”!

  5. Deirdre says:

    You know what they say, “If you aren’t killing plants, you aren’t stretching yourself as a gardener.”

    A soil sample can’t hurt even if you don’t suspect the neighbors.

  6. Liz says:

    I had 3 separate Bloodgood Japanese Maples that suddenly curled all their leaves, and died this season. Well, at least 2 died, and the third is yet to be determined. Do you have any ideas what this could be? It is so mysterious. It happened practically overnight. They were all very young trees. Any thoughts?

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Liz. So sorry about your trees. Could be various things, including the fungus called verticillium wilt (read about it in technical detail here). Sudden and otherwise unexplained death or dieback such as you describe is often attributed to verticillium, and maples are one of the susceptible species. The branches suddenly go but what’s really happened is that the roots were infected and it is finally showing up top. However, you say “young” trees and if that means recently planted there could also be problems adjusting (were they overfed; watered too much or too little; was there extreme weather of some kind, etc.).

  7. Fred from Loudonville, NY says:

    Two MUGO PINES died on me, in two consecutive years, here at Whimsey Hill House. On the average, MOST of my plants live since I know how to plant things. I was talking to a lady in Lakeville, Ct about my problem, and she said it was NOT my fault, but a virus, or plant disease that was going around the north east killing off two needled pines. At that moment, I started noticing many people in my area had the same problem with their pines, be it bush or tree formed. Having a garden, that in a way, I feel is complete, the loss of a plant makes a space for something new to buy.

  8. Bobstere says:

    Andre, I’ll bet Margaret can hook you up with some chipmunk & weasel carcasses to leave on your neighbours doorsteps! It’d be a ‘Godfather’ move in a very gardening sort of way! I say go for it.

    And who knows, perhaps ‘Ruby Stars’ will be appeased by the offering and rebound next year!

  9. harriet says:

    So happy to learn about the Mugo virus. Our Mugo’s have been in for 25 pluis years and are starting to die. Frankly I don’t like them much but they were a great screen for our cement foundation. Any thoughts as to what to plant would be appreciated. Harriet

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Harriet. So many issues with long-needled pines the last decade or so…good topic for a story here on the blog, I guess. I have lost many species to various insects and other pathogens. Is your spot sunny, is it dry or moist, and where are you climate-wise?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.