Possible sick young apple tree.

cs6000July 5, 2014

I bought a golden delicious and a gala from Stark brothers this spring. Got the bare-root type; something they recommended for the region.

Also got two cherry trees. I planted these all in the same general area. A place with good soil, and where I can water. The cherry trees and golden delicious are doing great. The gala, not as good. Not leafing out and adding branches like the others. The leaves are a little brown, too.

Also, there was an old apple tree that died two years ago not far from where this gala is located. At the time, I thought the drought/heat killed it. It was never great looking, was very old, etc. Here when we bought the place.

Now, I'm worried the tree was possibly diseased in some way, and my gala has now been infected. Just a wild guess, I'm not knowledgeable about fruit trees at all. These are my first.

I did dust it with sevin the other day. Maybe I should send a pic to OSU?

I have an old can of "Dexol Maneb" garden fungicide. Could this be of use, or is there anything broad spectrum specifically I should seek out?

Going to Stark Bros site next. Thanks for any ideas.

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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

What month did you plant the trees? Are you in an area that has been rainy? Excessively dry? What sort of soil do you have?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 7:52PM
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I planted these in late April. I'm an hour east of OKC. We had one rainy stretch late May/early June, but these came thru fine. Since then, the rain has been just about right. Has not rained good in a couple weeks. I watered them for the first time a few days ago. Have also given each about a half gallon of miracle grow every couple of weeks.

The soil were these are is a mix of light clay, mostly well tilled and kinda loamy. Just a little bit of sand. The area had been a large garden years ago, and has the best soil on our whole place. Not far away its pretty heavy clay.

I also mulch with straw.

This post was edited by cs6000 on Sun, Jul 6, 14 at 7:32

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 7:29AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Late April is sort of late for planting bare root trees in our climate, but not so late that it would worry me. Luckily, we didn't have really hot weather really early this year so your bare root trees have had a couple of months to settle in and grow. They've only been in the ground a couple of months, so it is hard to guess why the apple tree is less happy than the others. It might be it just has a bit more transplant shock.

Some diseases are soilborne and can remain active in the soil for several years after a diseased tree was removed. Since you don't know for sure why the other apple tree died, it is impossible for us to guess if whatever killed it now is affecting the new apple tree. My gut feeling is that it isn't.

The leaves that are browning---are these leaves that emerged after you planted the bare root tree or are you saying your bare root trees were not dormant when they arrived and that they already had leaves? And when you say they are brown, do you mean totally brown and crispy and dead or do you mean that you have green leaves with some brown edges or spots or something?

I am assuming you followed the planting instructions and that your tree arrived pre-pruned by Stark Bros, since that is how they usually ship them.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 10:22AM
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Yes the trees were pruned by Stark, and had just a very few tiny leaves when planted. The other three now have vigorously growing leeaves and branches, but this one has only 8-12 small green leaves that are brown on the ends. Its obviously still alive, just not thriving.

I just went off the feedback I got from Stark about planting, they advised it was the optimum time for planting, of course. I thought it worked out good, because we had a freeze sometime around April 15 here this year, and very late blooming flowers/gardens. I know I planted them within a week of the last freeze.

So, three are going gangbusters, but the one is unimpressive. Naturally, its the apple, which both have to survive to pollinate, or so I'm told.

I followed the Stark planting guide to the letter, and used their starter fertilizer when planting.

This post was edited by cs6000 on Sun, Jul 6, 14 at 10:54

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 10:52AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

The Gala probably is just a bit slower to get going or it had transplant shock and the others didn't. Each tree is an individual and reacts in its own way, so you really cannot fairly judge the 4th by the behavior of the other three. If it arrived with full-sized leaves and hadn't grown any at all since then, I might be worried, or if it arrived bare and naked and hadn't put out any leaves at all since being planted, I'd be concerned. Brown edges wouldn't bother me this close to planting. Continued foliar problems on the Gala next year would be more worrisome.

You do need the Gala as a pollinator for your other tree, but it can take apple trees several years before they start to bear fruit, so if the Gala doesn't survive, you can replace it next year.

There is a prescribed fruit tree spraying schedule that you should be following in order to keep your trees healthy and happy. I'll link the OSU fact sheet that includes it below.

With the amount of rainfall and humidity that y'all normally have there in your part of the state, it pays to be very vigilant about following the spray schedule every year in order to prevent disease.

If you are really concerned about the tree and want someone to look at it and tell you if the look of the leaves bothers them, you could post this question at the Fruit Tree/Orchard forum here at Garden Web and ask the folks there what they think. The fruit-growing experts there have an amazing wealth of knowledge.

Here is a link that might be useful: Home Fruit Tree Pest/Disease Management

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 11:14AM
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