Hey all. I bought several apple trees the beginning of this year. In general they’ve been doing well (some aphids, some mealybugs, some CAR). The past few days, three of them have gotten a lot of black leaves. On one tree, at least 1/3 of the leaves are black. The black parts are not crispy. Here are some pics.
Any idea what this is?
Most likely the roots do not like being potted, last year I had a potted persimmon and it exhibited similar black curling foliage. When I planted it last spring it spent most of the growing season recovering. This year it’s totally healthy, just needed room for growth of its feeder roots and better drainage. Try going to a larger better draining container that is as big in diameter as your drip line and use something like perlite, pea gravel or other medium to promote drainage until you find it a home in the ground
Drought stress or root damage come to mind…but it’s not dead, so there’s hope. Tips look good.
Agree with @BlueBerry , first thing that came to mind was water stress. I might lean towards over-watering given the leaves aren’t crispy. Any reason you haven’t planted them in the ground yet?
The soil I used is kinda heavy, so maybe there’s not enough drainage leading to overwatering like you all are saying. I’ve tried to be fairly sparing with the supplemental water, but I can’t say for sure how much moisture the soil is holding.
The only thing that makes me doubt that explanation is that it sprung up very suddenly and quickly, on multiple different trees. This makes me suspect pathogen, insect, or some acute event (a really hot/sunny day, herbicide drift, etc).
When they go dormant this winter, I’ll have a look at the roots.
I haven’t planted in the ground just cause I don’t have land to put them in yet