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MOPTOP Robinia nightmare

stardust666
Budding Contributor

MOPTOP Robinia nightmare

Hi Guys, 

I love Mop tops and have planted a row in my backyard

I had them in a previous home and they looked amazing.

These mop tops were planted about 3 weeks ago in premium garden soil. They looked great for a week, then slowly started shriveling up. I water them every two days and have started watering them with a diluted seasol mix . Im in melbourne and the weather has been all over the place for a few weeks ( 35 degrees hot days then drops to 18) does this has anythung to do with it?

How do i save them? 

Also do i have to cut off all the dead bits???

I have other shrubs in the garden using the same soil mix and they are doing well !

Any help would be appreciated !!!!!!

 

Moptop.png

MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: MOPTOP Robinia nightmare

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @stardust666. It's fantastic to have you join us and many thanks for your questions.

 

Do they receive plenty of sunshine throughout the day? What's the drainage like in that area?

 

If there are completely dead bits on the plant, then you can remove them.

 

Let me mention the very knowledgeable @Noelle to see if she has any advice.

 

Mitchell

 

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Noelle
Super Contributor

Re: MOPTOP Robinia nightmare

Hi @stardust666 

Watering every two days may be overdoing it a bit. A deep soaking on planting and then once a week, unless the weather is very hot, should be sufficient. Too much water can be as bad as not enough, especially if you have dug planting holes into heavier natural soil and then backfilled with the premium soil. You may have created sumps where the soil remains very wet after watering and that can be devastating on root systems.

A seaweed tonic once every three or four weeks is fine so you might be overdoing that as well.

Check how well the soil is draining and only water when the top 150-200mm is quite dry.

The air temperature is not likely to be problematic - and the soil temp is still probably below 20 so neither are likely to be the cause of shrivelling.

Reduce the watering, check if the soil around the roots is staying too wet for too long and see how you go.

 

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stardust666
Budding Contributor

Re: MOPTOP Robinia nightmare

Thank you I really appreciate your help - I will give it a go !!

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MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: MOPTOP Robinia nightmare

@stardust666,

 

Please keep us updated on their progress, and we wish you the best of luck with them.

 

Mitchell

 

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stardust666
Budding Contributor

Re: MOPTOP Robinia nightmare

Hi there @Noelle,

So i stopped watering and have only done so when the soil was dry .

The leaves have all come off the trees,  so what i am left with is twigs. The end of the twigs are brown and snap of easily but the bit closest to the stem / main branch  is still green .

just wondering what i do next ? are they going to die ? or should i cut off all the twigs - like pruning ? 

Thank you 

 

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MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: MOPTOP Robinia nightmare

Hi @stardust666,

 

I'm sorry to hear that your plants are still struggling. Let me mention @Noelle to see if she has any further advice. Given that all the leaves have fallen and twigs are now dying back, it isn't a great sign.  

 

How much of the root ball did you dig out when you transplanted them? If it was only a small section, most of the canopy would die back as it isn't able to be supported by the new smaller root system. I'd believe a relatively hard prune might be an option to conserve any remaining energy within the stem and root ball. This might allow the plant to throw shoots at a later date.

 

If you had any current images of the plants, that would help us in assessing their chance of survival. Let me mention another one of our horticulturalists @Adam_W to see if he could add anything to the discussion.

 

Mitchell

 

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stardust666
Budding Contributor

Re: MOPTOP Robinia nightmare

Hey mitchell , 

thank you for your response .

i have uploaded some new images, which shows the twigs -( half brown and half green) 

87722A0C-9D65-499D-BC1C-3A6BAB3A5C2C.jpeg

85AE045D-D38A-40FC-A402-0BC004FE7980.jpeg

86C3B636-15F5-4E3A-BD8B-F0550B5957E1.jpeg

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Adam_W
Valued Contributor

Re: MOPTOP Robinia nightmare

Hi @stardust666 
Okay... not looking real good...
A few things here, and I know... advice in hindsight...
Best time to transplant deciduous trees (those that lose their leaves in winter) in while they are dormant and soon to wake up. So think late winter, early spring.
Are these a transplant or planted from pots/bags from the nursery?
I think what your seeing is a stress reaction, likley to the heat, and possibly over-watering. Funnily enough the symptoms of over-watering can be very similar to those of under-watering.
I'd mulch to help retain existing moisture. Just keep it clear of the trunk.
Check soil is moist, not wet, and only water if it dries out.
To see if stems or branches are still alive gently scratch with your finger nail to remove the surface bark. If it's green underneath that stem is good.

Cross your fingers...

Also just a heads-up - mop-top robinias are a grafted plant and they are very prone to suckering when stressed. This means you may start to see suckering from the base & in-fact all around both the new location (& where you had them previously planted if they are transplanted).
The sucker leaves will look like mop-top but be darker and have dark, thorny stems and must be removed.

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stardust666
Budding Contributor

Re: MOPTOP Robinia nightmare

hey @Adam_W,

so i bought the plants from a nursery - they were in pots . i already have the mulch around them.

when i scratch the surface it is all green underneath .

There is no suckering .

Should i prune them ? 

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