Apple tree problems

brewciderJune 22, 2012

Hi I have a few apple trees with a small amount of leaves and the leaves are curled up like a taco. The soil ph is between 6-7. I do a deep watering when I check my moisture meter and it shows it's getting towards the low end of the scale. I have been feeding with 6-4-6 citrus fertilizer with some 21-0-0 ammonium sulfate and some ironite. This past couple weeks I've been starting to fertilize with iron and zinc chelate in case that was the issue since I read Iron may be hard to take in on high calcium soils such as there is around here in San Diego. I was thinking of getting some Epsom salts next to see if that could be the key, I'm down to guessing now what the solution could be. Thanks for your help!

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Here's another picture...

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 10:55PM
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From your photos it seems the trees are really close so I assume they are on some extremely dwarfing rootstock?

I see you still have the sales tags on the trees. Were these recently purchased and planted? Were they container
grown trees?

If they were purchased in containers, were they leafed out better when you bought them? I have to wonder if they were
potbound and thus your problem is a root issue? Where I work (at a large nursery) I deal with BB and caontainer plants all the time. Plants held too long in a container
can really develop circling roots. Just a thought as this may not be your problem.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 8:47AM
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I agree with SA. Probably a root problem if the trees are newly planted. I've had the same thing happen on new plantings until the roots catch up with the top growth. To avoid some of that, I'll prune new trees that have limited roots to get them in balance.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 7:13AM
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Thanks for your replies! I believe you both are correct about root problems. The trees have been in the ground for 3 years, but they've been in less than ideal conditions. They didn't have any mulch till a couple months ago. They also had only a couple drippers (2 hours with 2 1-gallon drippers, or 4 gallons per tree) on them that were close to the trunk and they got frequent shallow waterings. My soil is like concrete when it's dry. So I think the roots couldn't grow outwards. Now I have 4 drippers that circle around further from the trunk and I'm giving them deep waterings (4 hours with 4 1-gallon drippers, so 16 gallons per tree each time I water). I also added 6 inches of mulch and I also wet the entire area with the garden hose to get some activity going. I can chop off the top half of the trees if that's what you suggest.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 12:14AM
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