Leaf's dying on Apple, Persimmon, Jujube Trees; Dallas

Can someone help me identify what’s going on? On one corner of my yard leaves start to die in mid-July. I’ve lived here 3 years; this has happened the last 2. Apples, persimmon, & Jujube’s are affected. It starts in the same place each year and spreads to 6-7 trees by Oct. The tree’s live, but the fruit tastes awful.

I have Cotton root rot in another spot, but this seems different. Water soil tests moist, not wet, or dry; my lawn waters 3 times a week. I sent Apple & Jujube leaves to Texas A&M thinking it might be a nutrient deficiency, they came back normal.

My trees are in “mulch rows” I put in when I built the house. The rows only have mulch, they’re 4’ X 50’. I sent soil samples to Texas A&M; the grass areas are normal; but the “rows” have almost no nitrogen or phosphorous. Still any tree is no more than 2’ from grass. I’ll add organic material & 10-16-0 fertilizer this winter.

I’ve tried, on a few trees, extra water; extra fertilizer; Epson salts; fungicides; no improvement yet.

What should I try next?

My first guess would be:…
High soluble salts in the. Soil / irrigation water.
If so ? May try flooding it to leach them out


Thanks! Sodium measures 53 ppm, normal. Iron, Zinc, Manganese all normal.

Conductivity 560 umho/cm

Are you saying you have a 5.4 EC? you have massive salt lockout and i would switch to organic fertilizers and/or build the microlife back in the soil but first you should definitely leach them. Whats the EC of your irrigation water. The grass looks dead near the trees if you had large amounts of NPK i would assume the grass would be going wild near the trees. I would question a test that told me 5.4 EC zero nitrogen and phosphorous and only 53ppm of sodium. How many earthworms are in your soil if you dig up say 1 gallon pot?

EC? What’s that?

Worms are in the soil under the grass, but not in the mulch rows

Grass overall is green and looks good, but there are some brown spots

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560 micro uho

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A more universal measure of conductivity and salts. I had to google umho/cm. Im imagining its like the texas textbook thing :grinning: In general that would be very high and if you couple that with no nitrogen or phosphorous its kind of confusing and would definitely damage the plants. I would think it would be a salt lockout and you would have zero microlife and find very little earthworms in a small plot (The real test of soil life) . A lack of earthworms is a life ending event in the soil and i would want to find out why? If your irrigation water was high in salts flushing the soil would not help. Finding out why its only in your rows would be important and i would suspect bad chemical fertilizers. You know that some zinc in fertilizers can be littered with toxic by products. Alot of the chemical fertilizer industry bought up by industrial companies finding out how to make money off toxic by products instead of paying to dispose of them.

Thanks. I’ve never worried about conductivity too much so the terms are new to me. There are several articles from a Texas A&M Showing lab results, and 50-800 seems to be typical here. Also the lab reports flag problems, and this wasn’t flagged. So I doubt if conductivity is a problem.

When I moved in this land was untouched prairie. No worms at all. The soil under my grass seems pretty good to me now. The “mulch rows” are surprisingly barren, and I’ll work on that; all they’ve had for 3 years is Home Depot mulch and a little fertilizer

Still, any tree is only 2 ft from grass. I’d have thought that would be close enough to good soil.

Yeah maybe it is a conversion issue because 8 EC is no good and niether would 0.5. Maybe post your soil reports. I’m going to say possibly the home depot mulch has something bad in it, only because your grass away from the trees seems okay so i would assume its something you have added in trying to help the trees. Especially in a lower water or desert area you should have far more worms in a mulched area than in your grassy soil.

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Thanks. Looks like DS/meter is same as mmho/cm (milli mho). My lab results are 560 micro mho, or 0.560 mmho or DS

Maybe someone else can chime in here plz.

Puts it at 5.6 EC

Which would be high and coupled with no nitrogen and phosphorous would probably be lockout and killing plants.

What was your soil report on specific minerals?

Thanks for the help!

Here’s the grass between mulch rows

Here’s a mulch row

Here are leaves


here’s another mulch row

If I go to the calculator, & input 0.000562 mho ( which is 562 micro mho) I get an EC of 0.562. I must be missing something…

Excellent this all makes more sense and the 4th test shows a ec of 1.76 in the mulch row which is great. Im thinking the yellow ones are soil tests and the third is a leaf sample test ?

PH is super high i think you need to add the natural sulfur at a pretty high rate to lower it slowly over the winter. Fix this first imo maybe fruitnut can help you since hes in texas at how much sulfur you would need to drop atleast 1 point or more. You should aim for 6.0 - 6.5 imo thinking it will go up overtime.

I would try adding ground up whole fish if those are available or fish meal and fish bone meal as well as kelp to help stir up some microlife. (Dont do this if it will bring in raccoons or coyotes) its usually better to bury it in.

Your soil is very alkaline for what most fruit trees would prefer. A test pH of 8.4 is very high relative to the ~ 6.0 pH that most fruits would prefer.

In your leaf several of the nutrients seem like they are on the low end of the acceptable range or even below it, esp. K and P. On the other hand the leaf Ca is much higher than the reference range. Here is a reference to deficiency levels in leaf analysis.

I wonder if Ca/Mg are interfering with other leaf nutrients? There are folks on here that know more about this stuff.

Like Richard says, lowering your pH is going to be the best option. Sulfur and organic matter are the way to do it.


Thanks all. Interesting article on leaf deficiencies.

I’ve added sulfur. Texas A&M has told me not to be surprised if my efforts fail. This entire area has a ph of 8, my irrigation water, tap water, comes from lakes in areas with a ph of 8, there’s sodium bicarbonate in the water. I may be stuck growing trees in a ph of 8

The trees look like they need water, which I guess happens with too many salts, or with certain root rots, or perhaps with mineral excess/deficiencies preventing water uptake.

It’s interesting the problem has started with the same tree both years, and spreads from tree to tree, like a disease of some sort

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Bhawkins, maybe consider a cistern or holding area for rainwater? Usually that’s below 7 pH.

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yeah, rainwater would be great. But we don’t get much rain in Dallas & I have lots of trees.

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A cistern you collect your water in and inject citric acid or phosphorous acid would work for irrigating your trees. I think the sulfur and organic matter worked in would be easier though.

Sulfur your lawn as well you will be amazed at how green it is next year