Leaf Drop

kassiebum(z9 Sacto)July 13, 2008

Four year old Violettes in large pots, each with lots of little figs and all of the leaves are yellowing and dropping. The larger fig had sent a 1 inch thick root into the ground and I cut it off-expecting the tree might be shocked for this season. It has lost all but a few leaves and some of the figs appear to be withering. Now the smaller one, which hasn't tapped into the ground, is losing its leaves after first turning mottled yellow. I neglected to fertilize this spring. But no other changes in watering or in our hot (and now smokey) weather.

Any ideas?

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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

yellowing leaves often indicate a watering problem.

Also, why did you cut off the 1 inch thick root? (that clever little fig had a means to get additional water and resources and you cut it off? Are you moving the fig (to protect from fire or something?

~Chills

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 11:59PM
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bjs496

Typically, the shock from cutting a root is usually short lived. FWIW, I would have cut the root, as well... unless, the tree has been in the container too long (i.e. four years). One of the goals of periodic root work is the take out the thick roots (which the tree mainly uses for anchoring) to make room for the smaller roots (which are more efficient at taking up moisture and nutrients). If your tree goes too long between root pruning, the soil will become compressed. This makes it more difficult for the water to get to the roots, which are already less efficient at sending the water up into the tree.

If this is the case, then Chills' comment is more relevant. The tree was getting what it needed from the ground because it can't get it from the container. When you water the tree, give it water a little bit at a time and wait a few moments between drenches.

~james

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 1:27AM
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kassiebum(z9 Sacto)

Thanks to each of you for taking the time to respond. Cut the root because the tree was getting larger than I wanted. Am thinking you are correct about compressed soil and watering. Do you just pull the root ball out of the pot and trim away at it and then add more potting mix? What time of year should this be done?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 11:19AM
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