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Apricot leaves wilt: Help!

I have a small tomcot apricot tree, about 7ft tall, and the whole thing Y-shaped with the main trunk being only about 8 inches off the ground before it forks.

This year (I don't know how old it is) it bloomed very nicely, and has since produced one single apricot.

Two days ago I noticed that the leaves on the left hand fork were looking a bit saggy. This has continued and all of them have now dried up and wilted. I looked aroudn the internet for causes but there seem to be plenty of apricot leaf wilting diseases out there. I cut off the top few inches of the dead fork with secateurs and found that there is still sap in there, albeit rather pale sap.

Should I saw off the whole of the left fork? It's one main shoot and another smaller one. The right hand is much bushier and I am concerned whatever has got the LHside will now spread.



  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,425

    Does it look like it's weeping sap at all ?.gummy lumps on the bark?

    It could be bacterial canker. The  tree slowly but surely dies. We cut out half of our apricot tree because of this and now the rest is looking awful and is going to get the chop.

  • Lion SLion S Posts: 263

    Would you be able to post a photo of the tree?

  • Hogroast2Hogroast2 Posts: 55


     Thanks for this. The sap is not weeping, no gummy lumps on the bark, but here is a photo of the tree

  • Hogroast2Hogroast2 Posts: 55

    And here is a picture of the wilted leaves from the left hand spur.


     and here is a picture of the wilted leaves on that left hand spur

  • Lion SLion S Posts: 263

    Sorry for not replying earlier Hogroast2. Have been very busy weeding and pruning these past few days. Unfortunately I can't enlarge the photos and they are too small for me to be able to recognise any diseases. However, I'd certainly advise you to prune that left fork away and now would be the best time to do it. Make sure to disinfect your saw after pruning and burn the prunings, otherwise the disease might spread. 

    I have to mention that, sadly there is a possibility that your apricot tree could die as they do not like to be pruned hard. It might therefore be a good idea to prune only the small shoot and ask what is wrong with it at a fruit tree nursery.

  • Hogroast2Hogroast2 Posts: 55


    The tree IS now exuding gummy sap.

    Thanks so much for your suggestions, Flowerchild. I was about to take that limb off but when I saw the sap I thought I would come back to the forum instead.

    Sorry about the photos: I am not sure how to make them any bigger. In the mean time, the leaves on the left hand fork have all died and driied up. I snipped a tiny bit off the top of that shoot and it was definitely full of green sap. But at the base of the Y, where the branches fork, there is a large drop of brown gummy sap. The leaves on the right hand fork are all looking very healthy. But if it has a large drop of sap does that mean it has bacterial canker?


  • Lion SLion S Posts: 263

    Sorry Hogroast, late again. Hope I'm not too late. Does the sap smell sour, like vinegar? Is there an orange discoloration in the bark? In that case bacterial cancer is most likely, which fidgetbones suggested above. Infected areas under bark or branches are usually sunken and oozing sap. Google for photos to get an impression of cancer spots, so you know what to look for.

    No worries about the photos, I can't place them at all so you're doing a lot better in that part! image





  • Hogroast2Hogroast2 Posts: 55

    Flowerchild, thank you so much for your comments and suggestions. I have to say I can't discern any sour smell, inf fact I can't pick up any smell at all from the sap. As to the bark: it's a little bit coppery towards the bottom, not orange exactly. THe leaves on the left spur are now all dried up and crispy. THere is still only one ball of sap oozing out at the Y joint, but the leaves on the right hand side are all green and happy looking. Does this help with diagnosis? And if so, is there anything I can do?


    Many thanks for all this.

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