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Apple tree in distress

Hello lovely experienced gardeners. My apple tree is looking very unhappy but it seems as though its only one half of it that is suffering. As you can see from the images, the left half has yellowing/browning crumpled leaves compared to the green on the right. There is some bark damage to the main branch leading left so I wondered if this might be a clue as to what is wrong. However, there is also bark damage on the main trunk. Is anyone able to help me diagnose the problem and treat it. Many thanks. 


  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,549
    edited 18 July

    Several thoughts.

    1. The tree appears to be in some sort of raised bed or container. The soil/compost substrate unknown. During the summer these things need daily watering, especially if the substrate does not hold water well. Ideally, an apple tree should be in the ground. The contained space in which it is living is far too small for it to spread its roots and find food and water.

    2. The container also contains other plants. These will be competing for moisture and food with the tree and probably leaving it in need of more of both. Ideally, remove the competing plants.

    3. The tree appears to be growing in the shade of taller trees/plants. Apple trees like to be in the sun, not overhung by other things. Ideally, move it to a sunnier spot.

    4. The tree appears to be growing in a patio or paved area. Again, no opportunity for the tree to search out rainwater.

    5. The tree stake is far too close to the trunk of the tree and appears to be rubbing the bark at the base of the tree. The tree tie also needs to be loosened somewhat from the stranglehold that it currently has on the trunk.

    6. The trunk of the tree has been split or badly scratched. This might be due to animal attack (badger?)  or due to inconsistent watering or perhaps the rubbing tree stake is the culprit. No cure for a split or scratched tree trunk.

    7.  The leaves of half the tree are browning. This would suggest that only one part of the tree is being attacked by some sort of bacterial or fungal infection. An odd thing to happen. I would suggest that a more likely answer is that the part that is browning is the part that is most affected by the damage to the trunk.

    You say that only half the tree is suffering. No. The whole tree is suffering. 😕

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Many thanks for taking the time to share your advice Pansyface.  Appreciated.
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