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Sudden Apple Decline

Posted by Michael Phillips 
Sudden Apple Decline
August 11, 2018 04:13PM
Here's a thoughtful exploration of Sudden Apple Decline (SAD) that appears to be afflicting young dwarf trees at the graft union, particularly M.9 rootstocks. The article by Kari Peter of Penn State is well worth a read: https://extension.psu.edu/apple-disease-rapid-apple-decline-rad-or-sudden-apple-decline-sad

"This is most likely a complex of issues and not just one abiotic or biotic issue causing it. Some kind of tree stress is most likely making trees susceptible, but we haven't quite nailed down what the exact tree stress is. It may be multiple stressors," says Dr. Peter. "Other thoughts floating around are the long-term sub-lethal effects of certain herbicides, but more research is still needed."

Similar questions were posed in an earlier post in our forum specific to G.11 rootstock. Another discussion on summer dieback addressed more mature trees succumbing to vascular damage (tied to winter injury) on time delay.

Working with healthy trees is far more fun. Keep mycorrhizal fungal prospects to the fore. Dedicate time to building orchard compost piles. Give young trees a ramial chipped wood foundation to build a more fungal dominant soil. Spray those fatty acids. Certainly hope any holistic growers with dwarf plantings are not seeing this SAD business.

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire
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