Elberta Peach yellow/orange ...leaves droping off..

karendee(5WestOFChicago)June 16, 2007

I have an Elberta Peach planted in May. It has some leaves turning yellow/orange and dropping off. I have been watering it. I wonder if this is some sign of disease, over watering or under watering. I planted 3 apple trees at the same time and they are all doing OK. This peach looks a little sick but I am not sure what to do.

it has one peach on it as well that looks great.

Any ideas?

Thanks

Karen

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jellyman(6/7VA)

Karen:

Yellowing leaves can indicate problems such as bacterial disease, but that possibility is very slim with a newly-planted tree. What, by the way, was the source of your tree? Was it ordered in bareroot from a professional nursery, or picked up potted or rootballed at a bigbox store? The difference in health and vigor can be dramatic.

The next prime suspect would be overwatering, so why don't you try cutting back on that or eliminating it entirely and see what happens.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 12:53PM
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karendee(5WestOFChicago)

Thanks! I got it at a big bix store along with the apple trees. I will cut back on the watering the soil is moist right now.

Karen

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 4:20PM
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crabjoe(z7 MD)

Karen,

Take a soil sample too. When my peach tree wasn't growing like my neighbors or my apple tree, it had yellowing leaves with them dropping. I took a soil sample and found that there was a deficiency of Nitrogen and Potassium.

Now with the fertilizer added, the tree perked right up and the leaves are all green and healthy looking.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 7:11PM
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jellyman(6/7VA)

Karen:

When you put in a potted tree and the soil around it is less permeable (such as clay), water tends to stay right around the tree, just like a bowl. Under these conditions, the roots can drown easily. Stop watering the tree and make the roots go out and search for moisture.

If you ever have occasion to plant another peach tree, order in a bareroot tree from a mailorder source. Bareroot trees suffer from this problem less frequently, and usually grow more vigorously.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 1:57AM
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karendee(5WestOFChicago)

thanks for the tips. I ordered everyone in the family to stop watering the tree. I do have clay soil. I will order bareroot next time. I do plan to add more trees in the future.

thanks!
Karen

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 2:59PM
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kaihui(Z7 VA)

Karen,
What Don suggested is very sounding. Overwatering apperas your problem. When you have a clay soil, some people refer it "container effect". Basically the clay around the roots acts as a container. In the hole you digged, you probably filled with some very good dirt or compost. It is just too comfortabel for the roots to go out, you will get root bound (root don't spread out and get twisted, eventually root bound will kill the trees), also water tends to stay in the hole, and root will rot. That probably caused your yellow leaves.

Growing from bare root is what experienced growers do, However, I found a nice way to grow from big trees in containers.

If your trees are from a big box store, you will likely to buy some trees that are 6-8 ft tall in 5 gallon containers. That's good, because if you do it right, you will have fruits the first year or the second year.

When you buy trees, bascialy you are buying roots, that will determine their vigor in the future. Don't pay much attention on anything above the roots.

Big box stores usually get new shipment in spring. Always buy trees in April, or May. If you buy them in fall, usually them have been in stores for very long, and very likley the trees will have root bound.

After you buy the trees, before you plant them, pull them out from the containers and examine the roots. Root bound is unlikely in April, but some trees have very few roots (although the trees may be very big). Return them ASAP as those little roots can't support the big tree. Or you can prune the trees really hard.

Once you have a big tree with healthy roots, dig a hole twice as big as the root ball. What are you going to fill the hole? Clay? Probably not a very good idea. Compost? Very bad, that will cause"container effect". What I do is mixing your own dirt(clay) with miracle grow. (it is so easy to do, just mix them up in the hole you just digged. By doing that, you introduce a gradual soil change, roots will naturally spread out, and roots will get enough nutrician in early stage to help them settle in(because you have some miracle grow surrond the root ball).

I have been using this method for more than 10 big fruit trees I bought from Home depot and Lowes. Very successful. I got fruits the first year.

No nursery can beat the price fo Home depot and Lowes, but you got do it right.

(soem times big box store may give your wrong trees, but that's beyond the scope of thsi message).

Good luck,

Kai

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 12:30AM
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karendee(5WestOFChicago)

Kai, thanks for the info! I actually did plant my tree with Micrale grow garden soil mixed with my own soil. I dug a large hole and planted with the mix then added mulch around the tree.

The tree is looking pretty good now. We were watering everyday because we were afraid it would dry out on the hot days. Now we left it alone it is looking a little better. We have one peach on it right now.

Karen

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 3:49PM
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kaihui(Z7 VA)

Karen,
Cool!

Can't tell you how many plants I have killed by over watering!

Don't know how much rain you get in your area. If you have an absolute drought, watering once a week is fine. (provided you have mulch around the trees). Watering once a day is way too much.

Last year, I planted few fruit trees (peach and plums) and we had a major drought, I watered them about every two weeks. They were doing fine.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 8:29PM
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karendee(5WestOFChicago)

Thanks Kai! I have stopped watering except what the rain has brought the last couple days.

Karen

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 5:01PM
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