• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • paul wheaton
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Haasl
  • Joylynn Hardesty
stewards:
  • r ranson
  • James Freyr
  • Burra Maluca
master gardeners:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Ash Jackson
  • thomas rubino
  • Carla Burke

Red maple dropped all fruits/wings/samaras/whirligigs/helicopters within one day of mulching

 
Posts: 2
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Permies,

I've been following this forum for a little while, and now this is my first post!

Yesterday I decided to mulch a young red maple. Before mulching, it was pretty much bare soil. I first laid down a layer of twigs a few inches deep. Then I put down a thick layer of fresh (same day) grass clippings that were already pretty warm. I worked the clippings into the spaces in between the twigs.

This morning I noticed that the tree had dropped most of its samaras. By the evening, it had dropped almost all of them. It seems like this sudden drop is related to the mulching somehow. I'm wondering if maybe the heat in the root zone from the grass clippings is making the tree think that the season is further along than it actually is.

Another theory I have is that maybe pesticides in the grass clippings stressed the tree out. The clippings are kindly donated from the property next door, and I don't know how they treat their lawns, if they use pesticide or not. This seems less likely given how quickly the samara drop happened and the fact that we haven't had rain in a few days (to wash any pesticides from the clippings into the soil).

Any thoughts on what's going on?

At any rate, I'm wondering if I need to be concerned, if I need to remove the mulch to prevent any more damage to the tree. From what I understand, red maples are pretty resilient but I still don't want to kill it!

Here's a picture from today (attached).

Thanks everyone!
Taylan

IMG_20200505_191051560.jpg
base of red maple with fresh mulch and newly dropped samaras
base of red maple with fresh mulch and newly dropped samaras
 
pollinator
Posts: 1290
Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
299
hugelkultur forest garden hunting chicken food preservation bee
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Taylan,

welcome to Permies! I would definitely make a larger donut in the mulch that looks way to tight around the trunk. I normally lightly mulch (like no more than 2") out to 12" away from the trunk.
 
pollinator
Posts: 196
Location: the mountains of western nc
38
forest garden trees foraging chicken food preservation cooking wood heat homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
yep, i would leave a bit more space around the trunk and spread farther out.

regarding the samaras dropping, i suspect it's just a coincidence that the two things lined up. this is the season for red maple to drop seed.
 
Taylan Morcol
Posts: 2
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks all. I can definitely pull the mulch away a bit more from the trunk. What's the disadvantage to having a thick layer of mulch?

About the samaras, another plot twist this morning. On a sister tree (same age/species, a few yards away) I saw a squirrel picking off the samaras one by one, taking a nibble, and then dropping the rest to the ground. When I checked under the tree in the picture, sure enough most samaras had the seed part eaten out. So I'm putting my money on the squirrel hypothesis! It does seem that the timing just happened to line up.
 
"How many licks ..." - I think all of this dog's research starts with these words. Tasty tiny ad:
The Amazon is a feral forest garden?!?! | Class, Slides & Article
https://permies.com/t/145630/Forests-Deserts-Class-Package-Slide
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic