Small leaves?

I am having a strange problem with just two of my apple trees.

FACTS:

  1. These are espaliered trees and are next to each other being planted about 8 feet apart. The trees are Cox Orange Pippin & Pristine apples.
  2. The leaves on these trees are very small and the leaf cover is very thin.
  3. Other trees on either side of these are NOT having the problem.

The first two pictures below are of the problem trees. The 3rd and 4th are the trees right next to them.

Any ideas??

Mike

COX ORANGE PIPPIN

PRISTINE

NORMAL 1

NORMAL 2

1 Like

hopefully just due to a water/nutrient deficiency or climate-related, and not due to borers, which can cause sparse foliage.

I have a Wolf River on B9 with the same problem, which has been in the ground 13 years. Experts I have consulted blame a polar vortex two years ago in Jan 2019. Last year, it seemed normal. This year, I didnā€™t think it would ever leaf out, but it did. The leaves are abnormally small.

I dormant prune aggressively. I lost a Golden Russet the same age last summer that was planted next to the Wolf River. I wonder whether the pruning prevented the Wolf River from coming out of dormancy.