Hi Forum members! My 5th leaf contender peach is on the ropes after providing 3 years of the best peaches my family has had in decades. Our little orchard began because we could not find a peach like the peaches we remembered from childhood. The tree leafed out, flowered and set fruit well but the leaves were small and slow growing. Low growth was attributed to the cool wet spring - winter - spring we had. Then I saw the lawn care guy with the crab grass sprayer spraying on a day with wind gusting at 10-15 mph. The leaves on the peach began stippling and yellowing ( blueberries and honey berries did the same). After reading the trials of forum members regarding weed spray, I thought maybe it was the early crab grass spray that did it in. However upon closer inspection I saw some gumosis in between the scaffolds. So I thought maybe borers? I excavated the weekly mounded mulch volcano only to find a darkened area at the flare of the trunk (couldn’t see the graft Union for this dwarf tree). I’d be grateful for your help in saving this tree. My mom is devastated.
I think I figured out how to post pics. Here is A branch
Tree a week ago
Base of tree
Gumosis between scaffolds and trunk
I’m not sure you can save it, but if you replace it do not bury it so deep! You want the roots to breath. Root flares should be visible. My guess is this is what weakened the immune system and canker or borers set in the compromised tree.
Although some areas are prone to such things, and may have happened anyway. Still best to do all you can to help tree.
I mound mine, and just barely bury all roots. Often when mounded they settle, but that is fine. Here is one I planted last year. (this is an ideal, perfect example of what you want)
Don’t ever put mulch against the tree trunk. An extremely great way to kill trees.
I doubt there is any salvation for the tree. probably wasn’t going to live anyway. I have read that peach orchards have a 5% mortality rate each year, so they are fragile compared to apple trees.
I used to have a lawn guy until I found string trimmer damage after I first planted my fruit trees. I have been doing my own since then.
Borers, That is what you are seeing. the way you deal with them is straighten a paperclip and probe those sap balls. you will feel it go through the hole in the bark then probe around in the hole to kill the worm. in week check back and re-probe the ones that still look like that.
Final comment: pull the mulch away from the trunk in the winter time to avoid vole chewing
Thank you for your responses Drew and CCKW. Drew, this was our first bare root tree and there was only 1 inch of stem under the graft Union and maybe 5 inches of root under that. Knowing what I know now, I would have sent it back. I also will definitely mound the tree up if only to deter the lawn care guys from fluffing around the tree and mulching - they refuse to listen. I scraped away the soil and saw popped flare roots like the one in your picture. The roots look rotted and the poor tree can sway when I lean on it😭 CCKW, I think you are right I’ve removed the mulch and will begin borer wars after the rain. Do you all think I can replant in the same place or am I asking for more heartache?
Yes, it should be OK. Just clear out all plant material from that tree. Good luck. I had some set backs myself this year, well just about every year! I grow enough things where it’s not that big a deal.