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Poorly looking rosemary russet espalier apple tree

Hi all,

My one year old rosemary russet apple tree has a full complement of  brown and black leaves with a slight red tinge. The tree is holding on to them and they are quite rubbery and pliable. It has been progressively getting more and more of these Ill leaves. I assumed it was a variety that was very sensitive to all the strong sun we've had, but am pretty sure that isn't the case. A young doyenne pear at the same allotment site (surrounded by hawthorn hedges :-( ) got fireblight a few months back, but the stems on this tree don't have the same blackening, so it isn't obviously that in my eyes. I'd really appreciate  help identifying the cause of this and the best remedial action.

I've attached a couple of images.

Many thanks and kind regards

Posts

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 71,745
    That soil looks dry as a bone ... I’m giving my established 6/7 yr old pear a couple of buckets full of water three times a week.
     
    Is your tree being watered regularly?
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Hi Dovefromabove,
    Thanks for the response! I've been giving it 2x 10 litre soakings a week. Do you think that's enough?

    kind regards
    Neil
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 71,745
    I would’ve thought so
    but the soil does look very dry. 
    Whats the soil like?  How was the planting site prepared ?
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Hi Dovefromabove,
    Apologies, I wasn't very good at providing the pertinent information! :-) The soil is lovely - it only became an allotment 2 years ago, after only ever being used as a field for the grazing of sheep; so lots of good moisture retentive organic matter and nutrients in there! I have mulched the tree well with about 3 inches of garden compost, so I suspect the water runs straight through that and doesn't hang around at the surface to look moist :-)
    Note that I've got 6 other apple trees, a pear and a plum of similar age on the same allotment site - although not in the same exact location, that are doing well. 

    kind regards.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 71,745
    🤔 try scraping the bark with your thumb nail ... if you find green under the surface then it’s still
    alive ...
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • (Apologies, I thought I had already hit send on this)
    Yes, sorry, already done by the other half, and it does indeed have green under the bark.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 71,745
    Then I would ensure that the soil doesn’t dry out (but don’t let it get boggy) and keep my fingers crossed for next year. 

    I wouldnt do do any formative pruning this winter ... I’d wait until the tree establishes a bit better first. 

    🤞 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Thanks, Dovefromabove. Would you agree that it doesn't appear to be fireblight - given the lack of any signs of infection of the stems? Oh, and I guess it makes sense to remove the leaves and any possible disease on them, given their obvious lack of useful function?
    kind regards
  • This quote from the below link does put my mind at rest a little - and suggests you are most likely right about watering:
    "We do have fireblight in this area, but it doesn't spread as badly as most places.  i usually find it to be more "striking" in symptom, like a completely brown or black limb from one precise point on the tree. 
    If the tips brown, then curl, then shrivel up, I would suspect water first.  You don't need irrigation, but trees could use a deep soak a few times during the dry summer.  A light rain is multiplied by a mulch around the tree, but even 1/2" is nothing compared to a full gallon or two at the base of a young tree.."

    https://permies.com/t/58233/Brown-Spots-Curling-Brown-Leaves
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