What's happening to my plum tree and bark damage

Lesuko(5, Boulder CO)July 23, 2012

We are stumped. Our bare root green gage seems to be dying. We planted in late march and have 6-8" of branch growth. All was doing well until 3 weeks ago. I'm watching the water in take. So, if the soil is dry, I do a deep watering. This is maybe every 2 weeks- we have clay soil but amended it with compost. I haven't fed it since and I guess it could need fertilizer. It gets good sun- about 7-8 hrs/day.

We planted pear trees at the same time. While the pears' leaves have brown edges- we thought they had a disease and was focusing on them I guess- they have good growth (so we're told). I assumed this was happening with the Green Gage- yellowing and browning.

Hopefully you can see in the pictures that the leaves are turning yellow, then brown and drying up completely.

It gets the same treatment as the other trees. These are our first fruit trees so we don't know what's going on.

Also, does anyone know what's happening to the base of some fruit trees. Here are pics of the pears which are in the worst shape, but it's happening to the cherry and apple too.



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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

Lesuko, Here in Colorado we have very intense sun and the bark should be painted white or a white tree guard should be placed around the trunk to prevent south-west disease. If the bark heats up too much early in the spring the sap will start flowing. Then when a cold spell comes, the sap will freeze causing the bark to split and leak the sap out. Are the lesions on the south side of the trees?

I can't comment on the green gage except to say that maybe it's getting too much water since it is planted by the squash.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 2:31PM
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Lesuko(5, Boulder CO)

Milehighgirl- is it too late to paint the bark white? Yes the splits are on the south- south/east side of the trees. What type of paint should be used? And, how much do you paint up the bark? I've never seen white-painted trees in our neighborhood and we have a lot of fruit trees in the area. Though what you're saying makes sense and I will try it.

We were thinking the tree was getting too much water too from the squash plants, but they are on drippers and are about 5ft away from the center of the tree (they are huge this year).

Thanks for your reply!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 2:44PM
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To me, it looks like the new tree hasn't been getting enough water. I don't think every 2 weeks is enough in hot dry weather for a newly-planted tree.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 5:55PM
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The same thing is happening to my scrawny blueberry plants that I got cheap this year. It seems that the roots are not capable of supporting the plants in this sun and heat. I moved one to a shadier location where I can keep an eye on it and give it more water from the hose and it seems to be doing better. If your drainage is OK, I tend to agree with ltilton. :)

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 6:47PM
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kngskid(Georgia zone 7b)

Could it be fertilizer burn causing the leaves to brown?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 12:05AM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

Lesuko, I use a product sold by Home Depot. It is with their tree wraps and it is white and breathable. I decided to use this because it wasn't as messy as paint. I remove it once a year in the early spring and re-wrap the trees so it's looser. It stretches a little but you have to make sure you loosen it. It comes on a roll. Sorry, can't remember the name.

For paint you are supposed to make a "white wash" with 50% water and 50% water-based paint.

Did you buy your Green Gage from a place that has a warranty?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 1:33AM
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Lesuko(5, Boulder CO)

Thanks everyone.

We haven't fertilized the trees yet. We're new to gardening and fruit trees and wanted to be organic. I just read something about organic gardeners and how they believe they shouldn't fertilize, but in fact we should. Kind of a "doh" moment. Sometimes you feel it's just something else you have to figure out. Any suggestions? Can you use all purpose ferts i use in the garden, 4-5-6 fox farm? Since I have it know it's probably better to use than waiting.

Milehigh- thanks for the info on the tree wrap. Sounds a lot better than painting.

Warranty? I didn't know trees came with warranties! I've emailed the nursery and included photos but haven't heard back from them.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 10:41AM
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