Hail Damaged Apricot Tree

kayakita(z9 TX)June 8, 2013

One of my two six year old apricot trees is having problems. Last spring, just as my large, healthy apricot tree was beginning to bloom, we had a severe hailstorm which thrashed off most of the blossoms AND leaves from a main central branch with several; extending minor branches damaged as well. I noted the bare branches in the center of the tree with dismay (It's always beautiful and full of foliage all summer) but later... when I was able to harvest about three dozen apricots, decided next year would be better when the leaves and fruit reappeared and stopped worrying. However....today I noticed a large branch (one of the minor branches that had escaped injury and had been full of green leaves) was now full of dead, dried up leaves. What can I do? Is this a fruit tree disease or further hail damage? Should I amputate the entire large central branch including extending branches or just wait until next spring to see what happens? The tree has been quite healthy. since it was planted. We have always had a bumper crop of fruit (a bushel or more) every summer. I see no signs of insect damage.

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Apricot are prone to die back and whenever I see a limb dying I take it off, all of it, now not later. Al

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 8:38AM
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I agree with Al that you should remove any dead or dying limbs. As to the cause, it is almost certainly the hail, either directly or indirectly. No tree likes having its bark riddled with holes, and this weakens the tree and leaves the door open to disease as well.

I had the same thing last year, but in August, which I think was worse because the plants tried putting out new growth like it was spring, only to be hit down again with the first hard freeze in the fall.

Long story short, I did lose one of my three apricot trees, a 4-year-old volunteer from seed that was very vigorous and had already produced some fruit. Slower growing trees I think handle these things better.

Good luck

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 8:58AM
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kayakita(z9 TX)

Thanks for the helpful advice Al and Fabaceae. Sorry for the delay in answering. Wanted to take and send a photo to illustrate condition of my tree. Didn't realize the thread moved so fast or I certainly would have posted sooner. I almost didn't find it. LOL

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 9:19PM
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kayakita(z9 TX)

Here's a photo of my poor tree.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 9:22PM
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