Hail damaged maples

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NSB001
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Hail damaged maples

Post by NSB001 »

A big hail storm came through, golf ball size. I was at work so couldn’t save any, and now I definitely have 130 sticks in pots.
My maples took a hiding. I know that they scar badly. Should I cut them back to where there is no damage? Not sure what to do. All the branches are missing. Only have trunks with scars now. :(
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Re: Hail damaged maples

Post by Promethius »

Sorry to hear that! How advanced are they?

I wonder whether it would be best to let them recover energy (regrow leaves and recover over summer) before making big decisions. They may not do well if hail damage is followed by a big cut back in mid spring.
If you have ongoing development planned, scars may heal up over a few years. Depends how far along they are, I suppose. A few pictures may help.

There are wiser heads than mine on this forum: I would be interested to see what others have to say.
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Re: Hail damaged maples

Post by NSB001 »

They are mostly in development. Except for my big 80 yr old ficus. Chinese elms are bleeding bad. Not sure what to do with them.
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Re: Hail damaged maples

Post by Akhi »

Sorry to hear but best way is to not cause any further harm. Just reduce watering a bit as without leaves they won't use the water and can lead to root rot. They should bounce back in two three weeks albjet you will have to start fresh with the branches.
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Re: Hail damaged maples

Post by Promethius »

I haven’t had to deal with carnage on the scale you’re describing, but I would have thought that the trees will probably recover in time if they keep growing out.
Do you have some cut paste? Might help with recovery where the damage is more severe.
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Re: Hail damaged maples

Post by Watto »

I feel your pain having had some damage form hail last week. Not as bad as yours from what I have seen though.
The trees will most probably recover, its just time to let them regain some strength. Good luck with them.
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Re: Hail damaged maples

Post by shibui »

Some great weather in parts lately....
The damage probably seems a lot worse than it is. You have not given us any pics of how bad it really is but I would expect most trees to recover well.
I have not seen Chinese elms 'bleed' but I have seen them produce something like jelly when the roots are cut and kept wet. Usually when a plant weeps after damage it is just protecting itself from infection. Bleeding is usually just water and will usually stop after a couple of days without any treatment :fc:

Maple bark can be damaged badly by wiring but young trees generally grow over any damage as they thicken. Your trunks and branches may end up with some damaged spots if the hail was severe enough but as the trees are young I think it is likely you can work around any permanent damage. Either use the scars as part of the story behind the design or prune damaged parts off (when the time is right) to get improved taper and changes of direction in trunks and branches. Most inexperienced growers do not prune anywhere near enough during development so if it takes a storm to make you prune that's a good thing again.

For now only prune broken branches back to the nearest convenient bud or node. Let the trees show you what is alive and what is damaged then cut back again in a few months when you have a better understanding of the full extent of any damage.
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