apple tree leaves turning brown and crunchy

ryanellsworthJune 29, 2013

I planted a honeycrisp apple tree a little over a month ago. Not knowing what I was doing, I dug out the clay soil and replaced most of it with compost for planting. The tree was good for a few weeks but the past couple weeks the leaves have been turning brown and crispy. I have been watering about twice a week. Is it fertilizer burn? The nectarine tree I planted next to it seems fine although hasn't seemed to grow at all. Appreciate any advice from you guys.

Heres the pics:

Here is a link that might be useful:

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Dying of thirst.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 2:09PM
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Could it be that simple? According to the research I did, it should be a "deep watering" twice a week, less if it's cool/rainy. How much should I do?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 5:04PM
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dmtaylor(5a (WI))

Looks like you might not have pruned the tree enough if you pruned it at all at planting time. When trees are transplanted they lose like 90% of the original roots from the nursery, so the tree needs to be cut back to 3-4 feet in height and the branches all cut way back near the trunk. This will restore balance between the roots and the rest of the tree. Otherwise the root system just isn't good enough to support the size of the tree you have there. So it makes sense that if the root system is small, the tree isn't getting enough water or nutrients to keep it happy. I would basically chop the tree in half and it will do much better. Seriously.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 7:00PM
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If the clay was heavy, you basically created a bucket in it by planting the tree in mulch; my guess is your roots are dying of rot. If so, there's not much you can do at this point, and after it is completely dead you can dig it up and do a post-mortem and see if the roots are all there and just dry (underwatering) or rotted and stinky (drowned).

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 7:15PM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

Applenut's right

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 9:21PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

The tips look OK; this points to sunburn - new leaves are used to the sun they are in now since they were "born" into it whereas the leaves from the nursery were adapted to the nursery sun level.

Or it could be one of the other issues. In any case just leave it alone at this point and hope it makes it. Put your finger 1/2" into the soil and water if dry there. If its not dry don't water until it is.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 10:51PM
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Well crap. The one thing that might help is the clay is a good 8-12" under the root ball, I dug it out pretty deep. just now dug down with a trowel and theres no pools of water or anything, but the compost is pretty moist. So I guess I will stop watering until I dig again and its dry. And hope I didn't kill the little guy :(

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 10:52PM
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