peach tree EMERGENCY

brettbwMay 26, 2013

Hi everyone please help me if you can. I have a Georgia Belle peach tree that is just falling apart. The leaves are falling and looking as though it is getting no water. I have watered the tree and studied the roots. I did find a small amount of root gall ll but it doesn't look significant. Overall the tree is just lacking energy and it looks like it will die soon. The tree is only 3 years old and I really want to save it. Thanks for your help

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justjohn(8 AR/LA Stateline)

Did you check for a borer?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 3:45PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Peaches like a little drier than any other fruit tree I would not water tree for 2 weeks then give tree 2 quarts water a week that all needs.
Peaches roots die over winter because wet ground so no water until June then 2 quarts week most I give them. Heavy summer rains kill peach tree just like winter.

The USDA claims half trees die wet winter that planted.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 3:48PM
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AJBB(9b)

Look into Peach Tree Short Life syndrome. Looks like something is going on at the root level, borer, animal, or disease.

http://www.ent.uga.edu/peach/peachhbk/pdf/shortlife.pdf

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 6:47PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Does the entire tree look like that or are some limbs fine?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 7:12PM
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rayrose(8)

I have a nectarine that looked very similar, and it was borer damage. Is there any frass around the bottom?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 11:10PM
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fireduck(10a)

wow....very strange. As some others stated...get to the ROOT of the problem. Dig down and check moisture and traces of gophers and the like. Get deep into the roots...this situation needs to be fixed. gl

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 12:26AM
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alan haigh

You need to state your location for any kind of diagnosis. All the above are possible, you could also add nematodes and X-disease to the list, I guess.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 6:25AM
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brettbw

located in clover, sc. 20 miles w of Charlotte nc.
also I had another peach tree die the same way 2 yrs ago.
one person mentioned frass, I don't know what he is referring to. thanks

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 7:26AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Brett,

Frass is insect poop.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 9:03AM
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alan haigh

Looks like your issue is borers.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 9:44AM
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rayrose(8)

You need to scape away all of the dark orange goo, and get a coat hanger wire or thin screw driver and dig out the borers.
It appears that you have multiple ones. Then, thoroughly and forcefully, spray soak the entire bottom of the tree, including the roots and the ground, with a good insecticide, like Triazicide. You'll probably have to be fairly invasive with the bark, which may leave the cambium exposed. Then spray the exposed area with Spectracide pruning seal, You can find both products at Walmart for less than $15 total. The next day, you'll probably see some more orange goo. This means you didn't get all of the borers, and you'll have to repeat the process. I would do this immediately as your tree is pretty far gone, and you may still lose it.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 10:53AM
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alan haigh

I hate to say it, but I doubt borers would create that kind of wilt without already having girdled the entire tree. All remedies are likely futile at this point, IMO.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 11:34AM
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brettbw

and it's not the, these were hard , woody nodules. I broke them off to see what was there. nothing obvious.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 8:14PM
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brettbw

absolutrly no sign of a borer. wood is hard dry clean at the base

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 8:21PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Borer have timeline that in tree September early one those times borer make peach small sawdust frass stick out from tree bark that easy to see if has not rain off. your tree now heeled from last September damage they hatched and gone before new growth starts that expansion wood kill so they out there.
Now you need cut water apply to tree.Leaves are perfect size on good growing tree Borer be back September 2013 if don't dough tree before then.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 9:16PM
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alan haigh

Is there green wood and is the bark solidly intact around the collar?

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 6:13AM
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alan haigh

Is there green wood and is the bark solidly intact around the collar?

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 6:14AM
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brettbw

Hey, I failed to mention that when i (gently) dug around the tree, there were many little worms, they looked like small earth worms, roughly .5 inches long. Can these be nematodes> They were very thin.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 6:22AM
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brettbw

The areas, again I'll call them nodules, that formed at the base, are not green wood, but rather evidence of a disease, or injury that was dealt with by the tree. The rest of the tree around the base is in excellent condition. Again, I'm at a loss, as the obvious problem is not presenting itself. It could be too wet I suppose, as we did get a lot of rain early spring. But the ground is firm and somewhat dry now.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 6:28AM
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rayrose(8)

The photo shows obvious borer infestation. They aren't readily visible. You have to dig for them. The orange goo is the trees' way of trying to repair the damage and repel the borers. But the infestation has gone beyond that, hence the severe wilting. If you don't deal with the borers, your tree is toast.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 7:35AM
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brettbw

so I need to dig deep around the roots? any chance of it being an over watering issue?

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 4:59PM
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alan haigh

Rayrose, you really think a tree that badly girdled by anything isn't toast already? I've had really bad borer damage but I've never had fully wilting leaves from it.

Yes, the problem could be too much water. Peaches hate soggy conditions. Did symptoms coincide with wet conditions?

Even if those wounds are from previous borer infestation, as they certainly appear, the damage would have to go all the way around the tree to cause the the leaves to wilt. It doesn't look as though that has happened.

Borers often don't slow down a really vigorous peach tree and are not always fatal if left untreated.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 5:11PM
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rayrose(8)

I have a nectarine that looks very much like this tree, and it was borers. I ended up digging two out of the tree, and there were 3 more in the frass. About 3 weeks later my tree started to wilt just like this tree. I gave it a deep watering, and the bottom of the tree is now putting out new healthy leaves. The only difference between my tree and your tree is I'm not losing any leaves. I don't think it's a watering problem. In fact, if the ground is dry, I'd water the tree. You might get the same response, after you get rid of the borers, unless they've somehow moved on.
I'd be anxious to see a picture of the leaves and some of the fruit. Are you seeing any jelly oozing from the fruit? You may be experiencing cold damage along with the borers. I've had a long conversation with the Clemson tree expert from Edgefield. He told me that a lot of peach growers are experiencing cold damage from the wet and cold spring that we had, and that the entire peach crop for the whole state will suffer.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 8:44PM
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alan haigh

"The rest of the tree around the base is in excellent condition." Too me this is a key sentence in trying to form a diagnosis with the huge limitation of not being on site. If it is accurate, I don't see how the borers are causing the tree to wilt.

My experience is in a different climate so I'm not saying symptoms might not vary from what I see up here. It is always wrong to assume too much from one's own anecdotal experience- no matter the volume.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 6:00AM
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Campanula UK Z8

um, just a wild thought - maybe some sort of verticilium - the threads in the soil sound like part of a mycelium (hyphae?)

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 11:56AM
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brettbw

many thanks to everyone for attempting to aid me. I did some digging. I never found any places where a borer would have entered. I did find bark damage going far up the tree. it was as though a thin layer of dead bark was covering an old wound. I probed all areas with a wire and found no trails to follow. Alas, this tree is fading fast. Also I found identical damage on another peach tree. But this tree is stronger and recovering. I Sprayed it well with bug and fungus killer. If nothing else is gained, I have learned how to closely observe what is happening with my trees. finally I never saw any gel or ooze anywhere.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 9:33PM
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alan haigh

Wood chip mulch has some efficacy against nematodes. There are also resistant peach root stocks if you buy from a supplier of commercial growers like Adams County Nursery.

You might consider using your cooperative extension to get a proper diagnosis. We are all just guessing.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 5:04AM
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