Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Mikel Nimbus

The Apple Tree That Wont Shed Its Leaves

Recommended Posts

So I have this apple tree in my back garden. I've come across a few apple trees in my time and I'm sure they always drop their leaves in autumn/winter, just as this one in my back garden has always done. The difference is this year (currently December 13th) it is still pretty much in full leaf despite some hard frosts over the last couple of nights down to -5.2. Most of the leaves are as green as they were mid summer with maybe 10% slightly yellowish. Any tree surgeons know what is going on? Is it dead or has it genetically mutated into an all weather fruit machine?

Picture of tree attached.

post-1259-0-56665500-1355403917_thumb.jp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a good one for Jethro, but I see it's been severely pruned last winter and has put on very vigorous new shoots.

They have not fully matured in the normal season so the the natural growth-stopping hormone signals have not been circulating - so the leaf change is delayed.

It should get back to normal next year but growths like that are unlikely to fruit until new branches are more mature.

You might note some die-back on the end of the shoots, if so it would be a good idea to snip that off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That sounds like a good explanation and the reason why there were so few apples this year. Just out of interest, does that mean the leaves are still alive despite -5?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well that's a fine crop of water shoots you've got there! This always happens if a mature tree is severely pruned/lopped back; a mature tree has an enormous root system designed to support the large canopy, if you remove the canopy, all that energy goes into growing new shoots. Water shoots (as they're known in fruit trees) are not productive so you need to encourage new growth which will fruit in the future. Firstly, ignore the leaf growth, it will drop off but you really need to wait until Feb/March time to do the next round of pruning - this won't be completed in one season, if you chop it all off in one go, you'll promote the problem you have now and get water shoots on water shoots.

In the first year remove any water shoots growing directly from the trunk of from lower down the branches (judge how low down by how high you want the base of the canopy to allow for mowing etc). Then cut away half of the water shoots at their base.

Tip prune all the remaining shoots, removing 4 inches or so from the ends (this will promote the growth of fruiting spurs).

Next year, remove half of the remaining water shoots that you have kept from this year. Prune everything else back to an outwards facing bud.

In the third year again prune to an outwards facing bud. Fruit buds should have started forming on the new shoots (identified by being bigger, rounder than leaf buds).

Thereafter, winter prune as normal.

All this is designed to promote fruit growth, if you can't be bothered or think it isn't worth the effort then ignore all the above. An Apple tree which has been overtaken by water shoots won't come to any harm, it just won't give you many Apples. It's still a lovely thing to have in the garden, an ideal support to grow Clematis through and a haven for wildlife.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers Jethro, interesting stuff.

The neighbours are responsible for it and had some guys come and chop it in half one day with chainsaws. Thinking about it now, maybe there was method to their madness so as to stop windfall cracking the conservatory roof.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anybody expert on Olive, Lemon and Orange trees?In the past two years I have planted an olive tree, a lemon tree and a clemantine orange tree in my garden in France.The olive appears to be going great guns although there was no fruit on it this year, though there was last - both years we pruned it quite drastically but I understand olives like a good pruning.The lemon tree is a bit more problematic - when we bought it just over two years ago it had some fruit on it but we planted it next to a wall - a French friend advised us to move it, so we did last autumn - over the summer it developed brown patches on the leaves, which appeared to have been eaten away in parts - we could find any parasite on them, though the rear of some leaves did show thin meandering track marks - it did not produce any fruit this year.We planted the orange tree a year last autumn - it had fruit on when we bought it but has not produced any since - some of the leaves were curling.We have cut off what we believe to be the affected parts and will see what happens by next May when we return.

Sorry about the pic of the orange tree, that is the the one on the right but I lost part of it transferring.

post-3118-0-81329900-1355428293_thumb.jp

post-3118-0-45199900-1355428329_thumb.jp

post-3118-0-69245600-1355428374_thumb.jp

post-3118-0-13270200-1355428403_thumb.jp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike, from what I can see in the pictures it appears to be just the young growth that has been affected?? There are a few things which can cause these symptoms and you may have more than one thing doing the damage. The first pic looks as though a hungry Slug has had a go at the young leaf before it had unfurled. The other pics could be caused by a fungus problem or they may be the result of a late frost, possibly followed by fungal damage on the already weakened tips. They can suffer from leaf minor problems (tunnelling inside leaves by insect), it's a bugger to treat effectively, the simplest and most effective way is to remove the affected leaves and burn. For the other problems, try a double handed approach at the first sign of trouble next year - a general purpose insecticide (easiest in spray form) together with a Copper based fungicide which will come as sachets of powder to be mixed and drenched all over the plant with a watering can.

As for fruiting - all Citrus are hungry plants, they really benefit from year round application but the feed differs between summer/winter feed. I've had good results from this one but I expect they're all pretty similar http://www.shrubsdirect.com/Vitax-Citrus-Feed-Winter-200g?language=en&currency=GBP&gclid=CN6Iw9rCmLQCFePHtAodEm8AFQ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike I would just like to say Jethro's advice seems spot on to me regarding citrus.

The right feed for the time of year is very beneficial but also want to add that citrus don't like being moved/re-potted. It takes em a while to get used to their new environment so getting fruit may be a little delayed.

I stole a small cutting from a lemon tree in Ghana and kept it going for 12 years here in the UK (indoors of course during the winter months), repotting every 4 yrs or so and it took ages after each potting to spurt on. If you've got time try pollenating it with a fine brush.

Sadly ours died last year from over watering ! Maybe you'll be more fortunate in France (-:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a beautiful and huge Lemon tree at work that I'd nurtured for years, they'd had it for a long time but it never grew, never flowered or fruited. It took two or three years of pruning and feeding before it responded properly, but when it did, my was it worth it. It lived in a large pot in a greenhouse, going outside on a sunny terrace for the summer and the scent from the flowers was amazing. The last time I counted the lemons, it had 93 (they take ages to ripen but if you leave them on the tree until they are, they're as sweet as any Tangerine). Back in that really cold December a couple of years ago, despite being inside and wrapped up, it died. I like cold weather as much as the next person, love the snow but I think I'll bear a grudge for a long time against that bitterly cold December and the toll it took on my pride and joy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike, from what I can see in the pictures it appears to be just the young growth that has been affected?? There are a few things which can cause these symptoms and you may have more than one thing doing the damage. The first pic looks as though a hungry Slug has had a go at the young leaf before it had unfurled. The other pics could be caused by a fungus problem or they may be the result of a late frost, possibly followed by fungal damage on the already weakened tips. They can suffer from leaf minor problems (tunnelling inside leaves by insect), it's a bugger to treat effectively, the simplest and most effective way is to remove the affected leaves and burn. For the other problems, try a double handed approach at the first sign of trouble next year - a general purpose insecticide (easiest in spray form) together with a Copper based fungicide which will come as sachets of powder to be mixed and drenched all over the plant with a watering can.

As for fruiting - all Citrus are hungry plants, they really benefit from year round application but the feed differs between summer/winter feed. I've had good results from this one but I expect they're all pretty similar http://www.shrubsdir...CFePHtAodEm8AFQ

Thanks Jethro,

I do know that last Feb they did have quite a sever frost down there and the kids were playing on the ice on le Canal du Midi - in fact it has been a somewhat strange year down there.

Dec - Mild and dry

Jan - Don't know

Feb - very cold - down to -9C.

March to April - pretty dry though with temperatures gradually recovering

May, June July - some wet spells

August - Quite hot, temps up to 40C

Sept Oct - mostly about average - if anything Oct was slightly cooler than the previous ones with temps mostly low to mid 20's but none hitting the 30C mark as it often does.

Since then temps have been on the cool side for that area.

At the same time it is quite usual to get a wide variation of temperature in that region - I must admit I did suspect slugs, though they could have sneaked in during the wettish late spring when we weren't around and disappeared during the dry hot August.

Haven't done too much feeding at the moment - was advised to let them get hungry as this encourages root growth which they will need in the dry periods to get down to the at water.

Will try to give you an update when we get over next May.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find that olive trees do better if their roots are restricted so are quite good for pot growing particularly in uk where climate even in the south is not ideal. Once the basic frame has formed just keeping pruning the tips to encourage side growth so a bushy tree is formed. Then leave alone as they flower on previous years growth. They like hotter climates so in uk they do better if protected from extended frost. If not too big take into a greenhouse or conservatory or wrap in bubble plastic. They do not seem to be too upset by heavy prunining

Although the top growth can be quite quick I find root growth to be comparatively slow.

I have had fair success in taking cuttings. Some of these have flowered and set fruit within a few years. Although bearing fruit don't expect it to mature in uk.

They make quite good bonsai trees.

Sorry but I am not certain of the climate you have in France.

Scale insect can be a problem for both Olive and citrus although from your photos scale does not seem to be a problem.

Turning back to apple trees I have mature one that keeps its fruit hanging on for ages (well into Feburary and beyond in milder winters).

This year they are all been eaten by hoards of Black Birds, Fieldfares and others. These birds do not usually arrive here in numbers until later in the winter when they feast on the apples. Shows the limited food in the wild this year I think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry but I am not certain of the climate you have in France.

Thanks Habsish, we are in fact some 25 minutes from the Med and have a Mediterranean Climate which is basically hot dryish summers and mild winters - the rainfall is about the same as London, averaging about 50 mms per month but with more falling in the Autumn/Winter Spring period than the summer, when most of the rain is via convection.

The attached link gives a description of the weather through the year from a village Ouveillan which is about 5 miles from Capestang between Jan 1992 and Jan 2000, though in March 2010 we had quite a heavy snow storm and a spell last Feb, mostly below freezing when the ice got so thick on le Canal du Midi that the kids were able to play on it which seems to be a legacy of us going through a patch of slightly more extreme weather.

http://www.southfran...ther/index.html

Though Accuweather shows lower values:

http://www.accuweather.com/en/fr/capestang/139430/month/139430?monyr=12/01/2012

By scrolling backwards through the months you can get the actual readings for the past 2 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×