Apple Tree not doing well

Planted this tree in November of last year. It’s a Big River variety from Just Fruit and Exotics. Up until about 2 weeks ago the tree had been doing great. plenty of green and the grafts I had put on it were all doing well. Then it suddenly started to yellow and lose leaves. Other trees in the same vicinity are fine. It’s been hot but not any more than a normal August in Florida, although we did have a lot of rain last week. At one point almost 5 inches in less than 24 hours.

I’m going to leave it alone, but my concern is that it’s probably not salvageable…I don’t see any insect activity, any thoughts on what might have caused this??

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Trunk appears to be girdled?

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I’m afraid I was thinking along the same lines as smsmith- girdled, or severe root problems.

You may lose that tree- but the scions you grafted on could still be used right now as bud sticks if you can bud graft now to one of your other trees. That would let you “park” and save your grafted varieties until next year. But first make sure that it isn’t disease causing your problem -you would not want to transplant infected wood, obviously!

It’s a kick in the tail, but it’s going to happen. Good luck from here on.


Thanks for info… @marknmt, that’s a good suggestion about removing the grafted scions…The girdling is just on the one side and was a result of me scraping at the bark looking for insect activity…in hindsight that was probably a mistake…not sure if that makes any difference or not. Is there a chance it could recover since it doesn’t go around the entire base of the tree??

Yes it’s certainly disappointing, especially since this particular tree appeared to be doing really well. I’m probably going to try another one.

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heard back from JF&E pretty quickly and sent them some additional pictures. The person who responded said it definitely look like a case of root rot…needless to say that’s pretty disappointing. We’ve had a lot more rain than usual this year, but the strange part is that I have other trees close by that are fine.

I’ve never heard of a tree recovering from root rot, but I’m going to leave it in for a while longer and see what happens…not like I need the space for anything else…

in other news, the Gala I planted a year and half ago also bit the dust…not a good year for apple trees here.

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Sorry to hear that.

Are all your trees on the same rootstocks. Some rootstocks are more disease resistant and more tolerant to wet soil. Some not.

Next time, you may want to consider making berm there and plant on it instead.

good question @mamuang. I’m not sure of the rootstock, but I would have expected a tree that comes from Louisiana would be pretty tolerant of wet soil…

You’re suggestion about creating the berm is exactly what I was thinking.

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“I would have expected a tree that comes from Louisiana would be pretty tolerant of wet soil.”.

I wish it was true but I seriously doubt it. J&E probably uses all kinds of rootstocks for their trees.

the response I got was that the tree was grafted to malus domestica, common apple seedling rootstock…

Am I wrong to assume that this means it would have been a standard size tree?

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It should be a standard size apple tree.