Apricot and aprium, lost vigor

ahajmano(sunset 23, Mission Viejo CA)March 25, 2013

Not sure whys going on...

I have two apricots in a single hole doing fabulous. Vigorous shoots, big 2" + wide leaves. Goldkist and autumn royal.

Then I have a cot n candy aprium and a tropic gold apricot not doing so well... The leaves stay small, about 1", and the terminal buds on the shoots keep spontaneously dying and falling off. They go brown, shrivel, and pinch themselves off. The leaves also are not "flattening out", but are rather still taco-like. I will take pics tomorrow. And help would be appreciated.

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Are you sure those trees are getting enough water? That sounds like the most likely issue but it could be something else.

Another possibility would be too much fertilizer. Have you fertilized and are these newly planted trees?

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 10:25AM
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ahajmano(sunset 23, Mission Viejo CA)

Yep, newly planted trees. Both the vigorous and non vigorous trees got a healthy dose or organic fertilizer when they were first planted dormant late last fall. An adjacent nectarine tree is suffering from nitrogen deficiency, so I just re-fertilized everything with a handful each of triple 16. Watering should be sufficient (3 times a week) but I could double down. Everything is planted on a steep south-west facing hill. I also just mulched the hell out of them to see if excess soil temp is the culprit.

Other than the taco puckering, the color is deep green and healthy. I am most concerned with the tip die-off, as it is clearly holding the tree back.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 12:57PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

It won't be excess soil temperature at this point in the year. Cool soil and too much water can cause issues such as iron deficiency as well as drowning the roots.

Three waterings a week might be too much especially if the soil drains slowly. One good watering a week should be enough especially with all that mulch and no weeds

What you are identifying as nitrogen deficiency could be caused by too much water. Or if the soil drains really well you are flushing out the nitrogen.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 1:47PM
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ahajmano(sunset 23, Mission Viejo CA)

I identified the soil definitely drains well on this slope. The soil is damp-dry within a day of watering. My soil is sandy shale with a shallow hard pan of shale, but with the slope and south facing slope, the water melts away. I will slow it down to once a week.

Thanks. Stay tuned to pictures tonight.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 2:55PM
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ahajmano(sunset 23, Mission Viejo CA)

Afflicted aprium

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 10:27PM
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ahajmano(sunset 23, Mission Viejo CA)

Afflicted apricot

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 10:30PM
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ahajmano(sunset 23, Mission Viejo CA)

Normal apricot

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 10:35PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I'm suspecting salt burn ie too much fertilizer. But at any rate they look like they'll be OK.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 10:39PM
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ahajmano(sunset 23, Mission Viejo CA)

Can you apply too much gypsum? I already checked the PH, it's 6.5.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 11:45PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

No not gypsum. But that 16-16-16 or similar needs to be used sparingly on newly planted trees. Some organic fertilizers can also be high in salts.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 11:53PM
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ahajmano(sunset 23, Mission Viejo CA)

Gotcha,

In that case, i will spread some gypsum to displace the salts, slow down on the watering, and won't feed again this season.

This post was edited by ahajmano on Tue, Mar 26, 13 at 12:27

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 12:26PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

If your soil drains well, and it probably does, a couple good waterings will leach out the salts. It sounds like you are maybe just trying a little too hard. I'm in the same boat right now trying to start some early outdoors watermelon with three nights in a row at about 25F. I'm so worried about the cold I think I've about killed them with too much heat. Had them well covered the other night and a light bulb underneath. It was 95F under there in the morning after 25F outside.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 12:41PM
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