ever try 'smacking' the tree...?.

vieja_gw(z7NM)July 2, 2014

We have two first year fruit trees that leafed out at the top (they are about 4 ft. tall) & then the leaves dried up & fell off! Trunk has green bark yet but no new leaves/growth. Someone said to try 'smacking' the trunks of the trees to stimulate sap flow ... anyone heard of this? So I go out each day now with a broom handle & 'smack' these two trees ... 'tree abuse'? I may get accused of !!!

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Only thing you might do is kill spots of bark where you hit the tree. That's a possible entry spot for bacterial canker or similar. It's not going to help IMO.

Any chance it's freeze injury? That's what's wrong with my first yr trees. Others are reporting winter cold damage. Basically the area west of Rockies and north of KS/TN/SC.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 5:53PM
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I did it on my first avo tree. Helped? I dont know. It certainly didnt seem to hurt it. I did read it somewhare.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 6:09PM
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fruitnut: no, these were just planted this spring so frost not the problem. The trees still have some green showing on the trunks but no new leaves where the first ones shriveled & died. Think I heard the 'smacking' might dislodge something blocking the sap... ?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 10:01PM
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I have made the mistake in the past of under-watering my young trees.( My pension check still goes directly to the water company)....The result often is the tree goes into a dormant state.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 9:10AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

anyone care to wonder.. what fruit trees.. in what part of NM???

i suspect improper planting.. poor stock.. or improper watering .. and it would be interesting to know if they were planted in the appropriate planting season... as compared to a few weeks ago ....

we really dont have many facts here ... if they want to find out why the trees did such ... but.. if all they want to know is about beating on trees ...

yes.. i have done it... on trees i think are near death ... no proof of any plus ... as far as the tree goes or went ... and i dont recall which trees ...

but i sure felt better about disciplining an underperformer.. lol ..

put your seller on notice.. and tell them.. that if they dont releaf.. you will be expecting a refund or replacement in the next PROPER planting season.. whenever that may be for NM ... for most of us.. mail order dormant.. is not a july/august thing.. for sure ...


    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 9:19AM
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I didn't make this up, so don't flame me... but there's an old adage that goes...
A dog, a wife, a (insert your choice) tree,
The more you beat 'em, the better they be.

Not sure that there's any science behind it, but I suppose some folks are likening it to old senescent trees being damaged by things as varied as being hit by a car or almost being uprooted by hurricanes, stimulating them to come back into production - almost as if their 'brush with death' causes them to 'flood the market' with fruit/seeds.
I've seen it happen.

Don't know that I'd beat my tree with a broomstick - maybe a rolled-up newspaper would still provide enough stimulus, without damaging the bark...

I have seen, however, articles suggesting that some folks who turn bowls or do other woodworking with 'figured-grained' woods may sometimes 'create' their own raw materials by systematically beating/damaging young trees to cause irregularities in growth that result in unusual patterns in the wood.

This post was edited by lucky_p on Thu, Jul 3, 14 at 17:30

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 12:39PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Last spring my 10-year Hudsons Golden Gem was yet again not fruiting. So I cut a bunch of cuts around the trunk, as much out of anger/frustration as trying to solve anything. This year it has a big load of apples on it for the first time. I think there is some truth to these old stories.


    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 9:53AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

A bunch of cuts is a lot different than beating the tree. Cuts interupt the flow of sugars/carbs out of the top to the roots. The increased sugars increase fruit bud set. Cuts also heal better than bruises that kill bark. Figs can be induced to set main cut figs by tipping. This also causes a temporary increase in carbos/sugars in the shoots which induces fruit set.

Most trees especially stone fruits set better fruit buds if growing with moderate to low vigor than if growing vigorously. Figs are also clearly that way. I got more figs off a 5 gallon pot in 2013 than off the same variety growing rampantly in-ground even thou the in-ground tree was 5 times bigger, 10 times by fall.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 10:34AM
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I dunno...can the tree distinguish the difference between cuts and bruises?
Both probably result in changes in flow of auxins, carbs, etc. Notching is probably just a bit more in the way of 'fine-tuning' the alterations.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 11:02AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Hey it's a free country and there are no prison terms for beating your trees. Just don't beat your neighbors trees...oh wait maybe that was neighbors wife....I dunno.....;-)

This post was edited by fruitnut on Fri, Jul 4, 14 at 11:41

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 11:34AM
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