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Mop Top blues

Budding Contributor

Mop Top blues

Does anyone have any ideas on how to save a sick mop top, please?!6-1-19 009.JPG

Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: Mop Top blues

Hi @mandy111s111,

 

Sorry to see that your tree is unwell! Hopefully one of the helpful Workshop community can assist you. 

 

Let me tag some of our resident horticulturalists and other green thumbs, including @Adam_W@robchin@Branchy249 and @Noelle

 

Feel free to post whenever you need a hand with anything or have a new project to share. We have plenty of members happy to share their knowledge and experience. And please let me know if you ever need assistance getting the most from the site or have any feedback about how we can improve Workshop for you. 

 

Welcome to the community,

 

Jason

 

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Valued Contributor

Re: Mop Top blues

Where are you based @mandy111s111?

 

Also, is this a Robinia? If so, you might want to let it go as they are considered a weed in many areas.

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Super Contributor

Re: Mop Top blues

Hi @mandy111s111

 

The photo's not all that clear but your moptop looks rather dry, as does the soil it's growing in. Start by giving the soil a good soak in a circle at least 2 metres in diamter around the tree, then a couple of days later water it with a straight seaweed solution, diluting as per the label instructions in a watering can.

 

An organic mulch (pea or lucerne straw or sugarcane) over the soil in the garden bed will help keep the roots cool and the soil moist for longer after watering or rainfall. It should be no more than 10cm deep, so water can get through to the soil beneath.

 

When, and only when, the tree starts to look a little healthier, give it some liquid or water soluble fertiliser formulated for trees & shrubs and which can be readily taken up the the moptop's roots.

 

If possible, a close-up photo of the moptop itself may assist in a more informed diagnosis.

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Budding Contributor

Re: Mop Top blues

Thankyou very much for your help

I have actually done all that you've mentioned

Fingers crossed it's enough to kick it back to life !

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Valued Contributor

Re: Mop Top blues

Hi @mandy111s111,

From that photo I’m thinking that it has dried our badly and is sun-scorched. Is this a possibility?
From the trunk diameter it doesn’t look like it has been planted for that long. Maybe one or two years? This would make it less able to survive a dry period.

 

Assuming that drying out is the problem…

- Spread a granulated soil-wetter around the base in a circle that extends at least 2m from the trunk.
- Water well by leaving the hose running slowly to allow water to penetrate.

- Apply a watering can or two of diluted Seasol or use their hose-on.

- Mulch at least 5cm thick with lucerne or pea-straw to at least 1.5m out from the trunk ensuring you do not push the mulch up against the trunk.

- Water again.

- Cross your fingers.

 

Addressing @greygardener's mention about Robinas being weeds...
Most mop-tops are Robinia pseudoacacia 'Frisia' or other varities grafted onto root understock of Robinia pseudoacacia.
R. pseudoacacia is a nasty weed in many areas and all parts of the plant (this includes ‘Frisia’ and other ornamental varieties) are quite toxic – bark, leaves, flowers, sap and the seeds especially.
Additionally they are notoriously unstable as grafted plants. Often shortly after the plant becomes stressed - drought, heat, cold, root disturbance - it sends up suckers or shoots from the root-stock. These can be many, many metres away from the main plant and are easily recognised as they will be the same foliage shape as your mop-top but darker green, super vigorous and stems have nasty thorns. Even after removing the original plant you will keep seeing suckers as they grow readily from their roots, in the wild they naturally form a dense copse by suckering.
I haven’t planted them for a long time for these reasons.

 

(p.s. - glad to know @Noelle & I are singing from the same song sheet :hysterical: )

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