quince tree/leaves looking bad

greendesertOctober 21, 2009

I planted a quince tree this spring, it seemed to do great initially. It even had 4 fruits on it, but it had a really rough time during the summer. It is in full sun, and I probably should have painted it. Also the cats used it as a scratching post. I wrapped he main trunk a couple of months ago and I hope I didn't do it too late.

I'll admit haven't always watered it often enough, but lately I started watering it at least weekly or twice a week, and it still doesn't seem to make a difference. It's not totally dead, but it's just sitting there not doing anything. And by watering I mean, fill the basin around it with water and let it go down.

Is this a sunburn? or nutrient/water/salt problem?

what should I do?

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First, check how deep it was planted. The topmost roots shouldn't be more than 1/2" underground. If it's too deep, gently take the excess dirt away from the trunk, out as far as the edge of the watering well, use a good root stimulator, and pray.
Second, give it 4"-6" of water once every 10 days, with the weather we have been having. Water less often as the weather cools. Water more deeply (6"-8") starting in February, and keep it at once every 2 weeks through the summer. Widen the watering basin as the tree grows.
As far as trunk wrapping and watering is concerned, late is better than never, but don't expect very much new growth this time of year. Good effects probably won't show up until spring. Good luck! : )

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 9:45PM
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The symptoms you see on the leaves are classical salt burn. Quince trees like acidic soil (less than pH 7) and our soils here typically have a pH of around 8 which is considered alkaline. In addition, our water is salty so plants that like acidic soils will often struggle here.

You may be able to reduce the pH a bit in the small area around your tree by adding soluble soil sulfur (Dispersul is one product) and adding a 4 inch layer of compost on top of the soil in the basin around your tree. Or you can
add 1 tablespoon plain white vinegar to each gallon of water you apply as well as using the mulch. As the mulch decomposes it releases nutrients into the soil and lowers the pH just a bit.
Watering deeply will push any accumulated salts down below most of the feeder roots.

To prevent the cat from using the trunk as a scratching post, wrap it with a cylinder of wire about 2-3 feet tall a few inches away from the trunk. You can still use your tree wrap for the trunk, but make sure it isn't too tight

I hope this helps.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 12:13PM
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