Apple Trees with yellow/brown leaves; Peach tree with marble-sized peaches that are all pit

For several years, our apple trees have very few, very small apples and blotchy yellow, rust and green leaves. Our Extension Service diagnosed Japanese Beetles, but we have none. One apple tree, a Winesap. seems to have a lot of apples, this year, and green leaves with rust spots. Wonder if anyone has a diagnosis and treatment. Also have a peach tree with 1 1/2 inch peaches that are all pit. We had 50 of these and most have dropped to the ground. The very small peaches eventually ripen, but all there is is a peach pit covered with skin. Help very much appreciated. Thank you.

Can’t open your pic. Please look up Cedar Apple Rust (CAR). I think it could fit the description of your apple leaves.

Your peach tree could be:

  1. a seedling peach. If you have grown this tree from a peach pit you planted in ground. Peaches do not grow true to seeds.

  2. you bought a real peach tree but the named variety (the top part of the tree) died. What left is the rootstock growing. A rootstock does not produce good eating peaches. It is selected as a rootstock due to other qualities ie. cold hardy, immune to soil borne diseases, etc.

CAR would be interesting in that Winesap is supposed to be very resistant (which doesn’t mean immune, of course).

It was a guess as I could not see the pic.

Also, we don’t know whether or not it is a real Winesap. OP could tell us more where he bought it from.

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Thank you. I re-loaded the photo of the apple tree leaves. I had suspected CAR and we do have a lot of cedar trees around. I have to research the treatment. As I recall, as long as there are cedar trees within a mile, apple trees are susceptible.

The peach tree was self-pollinating and purchased from Lowe’s. I’ll try uploading a photo of this and appreciate your thoughts.

Thank you. I re-loaded the apple tree leaves and a photo of the peach tree, which is more like a bush, right now.

Gary, your peach tree looks very undernourished to me. Given the right amount of fertilizer, it should grow vigorously. Here is a picture of a bare root Earlystar peach I planted last spring. It’s about 7 feet tall now:

Hear is a picture of a leaf. I would hazard to guess that it is significantly larger than what is on your tree, maybe 4x the surface area?

I’m guessing the only difference between our results is adequate fertilizer. If you can get that straightened out, I think you will find that the tree is not only much more vigorous, but less susceptible to disease as well.

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Yes. I’d agree. That looks great! The leaves on your tree do look similar to ours, though much healthier. I don’t recall the peach variety, though I recall it was self-pollinating. The main trunk of the tree died after the first season and a number of branches came up from the roots, so right now it looks more like a peach bush than a tree. I’ll check on the fertilizer and welcome any suggestions. Are you able to get edible peaches from your tree?

Hi Gary. I wanted to remind you of Mamuang’s post (above in this thread) about your tree. Looks to me like she has the answer. In that case you’d be better off replacing this bush with a new tree, or cutting away all the new shoots except for one and then grafting a good variety to it.

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Like Mark suggested, you peach tree is a rootstock. It will not give any good peaches, no matter how much fertilizer you give it.

Buy a new tree is a quick and easy answer. Peach trees can produce fruit in 2-3 years. Almost all peach trees are self fertile so you only need one tree.

Grafting peach to a rootstock is an option like Mark said but grafting peach is not easy, in my experience.

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On the CAR question, now that we are able to see the picture with the first post, that doesn’t look like CAR to me, at least not as I’ve seen it on my own trees.

I have not seen a pic of the Apple leaves.

CAR does not affect peaches.

Thank you. I think you can see these apple leaves, now, attached to my reply. The whole tree is mostly yellow, now, and the very few apples on the tree remain small. Gary

Yes. Thank you. We sent a sample of the leaves and limbs through our county extension service to Virginia Tech for an opinion, and they came back with a diagnosis of Japanese Beetles. They said the leaves were “skeletonized.” Puzzled at this because we have no beetles or skeletonization, I went back to the extension agent and he never replied. The leaves turn yellow and brown and then fall off. We’ve tried spraying with Bionide Orchard Spray and have added fertilizer spikes without any change.

Yes. Thank you. We get beautiful blossoms on this peach tree, every year, and keep hoping the peaches will follow. My understanding is that a “root-stock” peach tree is just for grafting. I think we’ll start looking for a new peach tree. Thank you.

The brown blotches are Apple scab. It is very common and there are many sprays that work on it. You need to spray in spring for it before the spots appear. So plan on it for next spring.


I wonder if you have an almond tree instead of a peach?


Thank you.

Thank you. The idea that this is “root stock” is consistent with what I’ve experienced. We bought this self-pollinating peach tree from Lowe’s. After a year, the main trunk died and I thought the shoots coming from the roots were indicative the tree was trying to come back to life. I never thought this was a grafted tree and I’ve definitely learned something. Probably best finding another peach tree, though the blossoms in Spring are quite beautiful!

Hello and thank you. Our apple trees have not blossomed yet and appears dormant. Assuming this is Apple scab, is there any spray you would recommend…perhaps something “organic?”