Help ID possible apple tree disease

fern1knitsJune 20, 2013

About a month ago, I saw these $10 clearance apple trees at Walmart and decided to get a pair. I know that I planted them a little late in the season and I know that the remaining clearance apple trees at Walmart were probably not the highest quality specimens, but I thought I'd give them a try. Both trees are for Gala, and I know it would have been better to get two distinct varieties, but the pickin's were slim.

I have very poor quality clay soil that does not have good drainage and is nutrient deficient. I mixed in some compost (from my own compost pile) when planting along with some organic fruit tree fertilizer (though, I might not have gotten the mixture right, as I am a novice).

On one of them, most of the leaves are developing this orange-brown rusty appearance and I'm just not sure if this is a nutrition or water issue, or a disease. I've been looking at pictures of diseased and problem leaves, trying to diagnose it myself, but I'm just such a novice that I don't really know what I'm looking at.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

This post was edited by fern1knits on Thu, Jun 20, 13 at 12:21

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That first photo is of the front of the leaf and this one is of the back.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 12:20PM
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valgor(4b, WI)

Is the whole tree like this? Did it start from the leaf edges and work inward? Did leaves show signs of this when u bought the trees? Have you sprayed trees with pesticides? Watered in midday? Lots of possibilities, but looks like maybe they are getting burned from overfertilizing...

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 4:55PM
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It started out as just a few leaves, but now most of them are like this. I'm not exactly sure, but I do think that it started on the outer edges of the leaves and has worked inward. I have not sprayed the trees with anything and they did not look like this when I bought them. It's possible that I've overfertilized... Really, with me, any mistake is possible.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 6:21PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Not a disease. Not a nutrition issue.

Instead, roots aren't keeping up w/ the top's demands. So water isn't getting up to the leaves.

Perhaps temporary shade would help.
Perhaps soil too wet?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 1:50AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I agree with Jean, get them some shade -- they were probably out of the sun at the nursery and had too quick a transition to strong sun. If there are good leaves left put up a shade cloth.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 8:20AM
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Okay, thank you for the feedback. The tree has definitely been exposed to some very suddenly hot temps and scorching sun.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 10:45AM
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