Young Fruit tree leaves turning black HELP

goldenhoneyOctober 26, 2010

I am living in Northern Alabama working at a place where my main project is to plan a fruit orchard. I've been buying trees, still in their pots, and not planting them but putting them next to older trees in a raised bed. In the past few days, many of the pear and peach tree leaves have turned a greyish black. The branches are still alive but I don't know what it means! It's too early for them to being going dormant. The only thing I can think of is them not getting enough water for a few days. I looked up photos of fire blight but that's not what it looks like.

Does anyone have any ideas/advice?!

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

My first thought is that it's not that early to be going dormant. By November 1 peaches are going dormant even in CA where they may not get frost until Dec. Usually the leaves don't turn black so that's a bit disconcerting but not necessarily deadly. I think you will need to wait until spring and see what they do.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 12:50PM
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It just concerned me because I went to the nursery where I bought the trees and their trees, of the same variety that I bought, were totally fine. Is there a possibility that moving them just caused them to go dormant earlier?

I'm new to this! Thanks so much for your input!!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 12:57PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


Being too dry could be the problem. But even there the leaves would more likely turn brown than black. Keep them moist and plant them asap. When you plant be wary of roots growing in a cicle around the rootball inside the pot. If there are circling roots, try to pull them loose and spread them out in the planting hole. If you can't spread them out, at least cut them at several places. This will help them grow out into the soil rather than growing in a cicle and strangling themselves.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 2:14PM
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Yes, I agree, that is what a drought stressed tree does.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 7:22PM
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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

Grayish black leaves at this time of the year would be freeze damage in my area. Probably not in Alabama, though.

This time of year, you are limited to dormant sprays, but they tend to be the best treatments for several problems so that's not a bad thing. I suggest that you plan on doing some dormant spraying.

I would expect drought damaged leaves to be brown and very crispy. Is there any fuzziness to the leaves? The color sounds like mildew.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 11:16AM
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Did you haul 'em down the highway, uncovered, in the back of your pickup?
I've seen some pretty awesome cases of 'windburn' on trees transported that way.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 3:11PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Any chance of posting pictures? That would likely help us help you.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 1:24AM
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