what to do after bad hail damage to trees

curtis(5)June 8, 2014

I help a friend with a hobby orchard that was hit pretty bad by hail. All fruit was knocked off the tree, every single leaf is damaged or gone, and lots of holes in the cambium. As in gaping holes.

My question is in regards to avoiding problems with pests and fungus. Is there a regiment for this?

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Leave it be.
Human help -- umm, spell that interference -- only complicates things for plants.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 1:36AM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)


Remove any broken branches and that is all. The trees themselves will heal in time. In a year or so you won't even notice any damage due to callouses over the indentations.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 7:04AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I agree with above except in a really bad hail sometimes it's yrs for all the bark to heal up. It depends on species and vigor of the tree. I've got pears with unhealed areas on the branches from a hail one yr ago. Pears are good healers and it's a vigorous tree. My Honeycrisp on G11 died this spring. I think that was a combination of last yrs hail and this yrs freeze.

I've seen hail so bad that nearly all the bark was beat off half the major branches. By half I mean all the side of the branch exposed to the hail stripped bare. That never heals.

Agree there isn't much you can do.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 8:29AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I would fertilize them so they have energy to heal. Something slow releasing, an organic product, tree tone or something like that. Tree tone also has everything they need if by chance the soil is lacking. Otherwise yeah, nothing you can really do. Patching the wounds could make them worse. best leave it alone.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 8:35AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)


Commercial publications recommend fireblight sprays for susc. apples and pears immediately following a hail storm. Normally fireblight enters the tree through flowers via pollinating insects, but significant hail damage opens new avenues for fireblight entry.

For stone fruits (like peaches) Clemson recommends an antibiotic spray if there is a history of bac. canker. If there is a history of fungal cankers, they recommend a fungicide spray.

After our hail storm this spring, I considered spraying, but didn't. My trees are pretty vigorous, which helps against canker, so I decided to chance it. I am seeing some gummosis as a result of the hail wounds, but overall the trees look like they are healing.

One tree does have canker very badly at the farm, but that was an issue before the hail. I plan to replace that tree with a new graft, unless it does a major turnaround. The variety is Silver Logan.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 9:26AM
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