Apple trees make fragrant and beautiful additions to your yard. Not only are they beautiful, but they also provide you with the sweet fruit that you know and love.
The downside to keeping fruit trees is that there are a lot of factors that can affect their health. Your apple tree might be thriving one day, only to appear as though it is dying the next.
Knowing what to look for and how to care for your apple trees is very important. To sustain the longevity of your apple trees, make sure that you are familiar with the signs to look for and what you can do about them.
By learning more about apple trees, you are increasing the lifespan of your own. Every type of tree is different, so taking a look at these tips and tricks should help you with your apple trees and will create the most stable environment for them.
Common Causes That Kill Apple Trees
While it is not a guarantee that your apple trees are dying because of these causes, it is still essential to know what typically kills them. When you know what to look for, you will better learn what to avoid in the future.
Even though there is nothing that you can do for your dead apple trees, this information will help if you decide to get more in the future. Growing fruit trees is going to be a trial-and-error process, but you can learn a lot by understanding these common causes.
Apple scab is common amongst apple trees. This is a fungus that infects your trees and leaves behind brown bumps all over the leaves and fruit.
You are likely to see apple scab on your trees if you live in a humid climate. High humidity is not ideal for keeping apple trees.
Another common cause is powdery mildew. This is something that can affect many different trees and plants and will decrease the number of flowers or fruits the tree grows.
You might notice stunted growth or blemished fruit if your apple tree is riddled with powdery mildew. Any apple tree is susceptible to this mildew, but certain species are more prone than others.
Black rot apple disease is another common cause. It usually appears in one of three ways: black fruit rot, black rot limbs, or frog eye leaf spots.
This should be visible when you take a look at your apple trees. You will notice the black marks on your tree.
Another fungus that can affect your apple trees is known as apple rust. This occurs much the same as the rust you are already familiar with.
It will leave your apple trees with a rust-like finish. This is commonly seen on branches, leaves, and fruit as well.
There are many more causes of apple tree deterioration that you can familiarize yourself with, but these are among the most common. Keep a close eye on the appearance of your trees because this will tell you a lot about their health and current condition.
While not all of them will kill your trees, they can be deadly if left unresolved for too long. Being able to recognize the signs can prevent the problem from getting worse before it develops further.
How to Revive a Dying Tree
As mentioned, your apple trees can be very resilient. The common causes that kill trees do not always have to progress if you catch them early enough.
In just a few quick steps, you can try to revive a tree that has not been doing well. Before you accept that your tree has succumbed to a disease or other environmental condition, you can try this to see if it makes a difference.
The very first step is to identify the root of the problem. By referring to the common causes above, you should be able to determine what might be going on with your trees.
Once you think you know what is going on, you can give your local nursery a call. The individuals who work at nurseries should be able to guide you through what, if anything, can be done to save your apple trees.
You will want to start with the least invasive method first. This is going to give your apple tree a better chance of pulling through.
If you exhaust all of your non-invasive options, you can try some of the other approaches. Go down the list until something works or until you run out of options.
Even if it does not work out, you will feel better knowing that you tried to revive your apple trees. Trees can be very strong but also very fickle, so it is not unusual for them to develop some problems along the way.
Before you give up, you can always go back to step one. This is where you re-identify what you think the problem is.
Maybe the problem is something else, and this will bring forth a new list of options for you to try. Apple trees can be a lot of work, but they are worthwhile when they are beautiful and thriving.
There are other factors that come into play when gauging the health of your apple trees. Even if they are free of the diseases, you do need to consider how you are taking care of them and how the environment is affecting their growth.
A common cause not related to disease is over or under-watering. Make sure that you know exactly how much and how often you should be watering the specific apple trees you have.
You will also want to pay attention to the soil drainage that is occurring. If no drainage is happening, this can result in your tree being over-watered, even if you are being careful to water it as much as is recommended.
When you plant trees, you should be aware of USDA zones that are labeled by numbers. Apple trees do best in zones five through eight.
Certain varieties can grow in zones three through five, but you will have to double-check based on your specific trees. You can easily check which zone you live in with a simple search online.
As a general rule, you should not plant apple trees if you live in a climate that gets below -25 degrees F or above 100 degrees F. These temperatures will likely kill your trees because they are too intense.
They need full, direct sunlight to grow healthily. You need to be sure that you plant them in places that will be ideal for receiving sunlight.
Many people like to plant apple trees alongside their homes, but take into consideration how much sunlight yours will get if you plant them there. This is a way to make sure that they are getting the right amount of sunlight from the beginning.
Your apple trees might be lacking nutrients if they start to appear dull. If you determine that there is no disease present but your trees still do not look right, you can try using fertilizer to perk them up.
There are many soil fertilizers you can choose from at the store, and each one has a specific purpose. You should be able to find exactly what you need to help your trees at the local hardware store.
One additional cause for dying apple trees is pests. The pests that you have in your yard are typically dependent on the area you live in.
Familiarize yourself with common pests and how to avoid them. Unlike diseases, pests are able to take over your trees very quickly.
You will likely not be able to replenish them once they become riddled with pests, so staying on top of pest control is essential. Doing this will not only protect your trees but will also protect your entire yard.
Do Your Best
Now, you have all of the information necessary to plant and grow healthy apple trees that thrive. Even if you have exhausted all of your options, you can learn from your mistakes and figure out the right care routine to try again in the future.
Because caring for any trees tends to be a learning process, try not to get upset if it does not work out the first time. You will get better at knowing what to look for and what needs to be done if your trees start looking bad.
Having apple trees should be an enjoyable experience, not one that leads to stress or worry. When you know all of the resources that are available, this should alleviate some of the burdens that come with the process.
It is helpful to search the Internet for forums and other places where people discuss what works best for them and their apple trees. You can learn a lot from the trials and tribulations of those who have also planted apple trees in the same or similar climate.
At the end of the day, you can only try your best. Your apple trees will also do their best to adapt to their surroundings and continue producing beautiful fruit to adorn your yard.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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