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Apple Tree Leaves Yellow and Falling

LauraK2LauraK2 Posts: 26
Hi :) I have a 3 year old James Grieve apple tree which seems to be suffering! In the past month or so the leaves has started to turn yellow and brown and are now falling off! The fruit seems to be ok ish. For now. I have searched online but as I am new to gardening I get very confused! Desperately don’t want to lose the tree :( 

Any ideas and thought would be most appreciated! Thank you. 
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  • LauraK2LauraK2 Posts: 26
    P.S the tree did the same thing last summer, just not as dramatic as this year. New growth in spring was absolutely fine with no problems until June
  • pinutpinut Posts: 41
    It is probably nutrient washout.

    It's weird that the surrounding patch is also yellow - like it was planted in a basin with poor drainage.

  • LauraK2LauraK2 Posts: 26
    pinut said:
    It is probably nutrient washout.

    It's weird that the surrounding patch is also yellow - like it was planted in a basin with poor drainage.

    The surrounding patch is a creeping plant that is actually supposed to be the yellow colour :) 

    Thank you, I’m really hoping it is nutrient deficiency so that there is some hope! I bought some Phostrogen this morning and am hoping that that may help? 
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 7,776
    It may be just lack of water. Are you giving it lots, like two watering cans full every day in this hot weather? 3 years old is still relatively a young tree.
  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,065
    Is it in a pot or planted in the ground? Feeding and watering will be more work in a pot, it would be much happier in the ground with room to spread its roots.
  • LauraK2LauraK2 Posts: 26
    Lizzie27 said:
    It may be just lack of water. Are you giving it lots, like two watering cans full every day in this hot weather? 3 years old is still relatively a young tree.
    I definitely haven’t been giving it that much water 😬 so it sounds like it’s very very thirsty! I wasn’t aware that it still needed as much after 3 years,
    so thank you, I will get the watering can out a lot more often! 
  • LauraK2LauraK2 Posts: 26
    steephill said:
    Is it in a pot or planted in the ground? Feeding and watering will be more work in a pot, it would be much happier in the ground with room to spread its roots.
    Hi, it’s planted in a half barrel buried in to the ground. This was on advice of the tree specialists we bought it from. We have heavy clay soil and our last fruit trees got root rot so this was to stop that and then apparently the barrel breaks down and then the roots can spread into the ground.

    Maybe we should try to take it out and plant it without the barrel but not sure if this would now be too tricky!! 
  • Red mapleRed maple Posts: 234
    Yes, they are thirsty plants, and need a lot of water especially in hot spells such as we've just had, plus a feed occasionally. It's hard to tell from the photo how big and deep your pot is. I needed to repot mine last year as it was getting pot bound, and has been happier since I did it. Is your apple tree a dwarf variety? I forget the name of mine now, as I've had it many years, but remember that it was a dwarf variety, grafted, suitable for container growing. If it isn't, it might be happier in the ground if you have room. Good luck, I'm sure you'll see improvement once it's had a good drink and feed.
  • LauraK2LauraK2 Posts: 26
    I’m not sure what root stock it is but it definitely isn’t a dwarf one. Thank you I’ve made the decision to re plant in the ground without the barrel! Is it best to wait until it’s dormant or could I do this now? Sorry I am clueless and still learning!! 
  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,065
    You may have created a sump by digging a hole to bury the barrel. I suggest an exploratory dig at the inside edge of the barrel to see if it is waterlogged.
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