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Dead trees

Posted by Joanne Corkum 
Dead trees
June 11, 2019 03:29PM
We have a small cider apple orchard - 500 trees on B118. 8 + varieties. Orchard 5 years old.

This spring (the coldest and wettest in 20 years) we have lost 50+ trees - over 3 or 4 varieties. Some were definitely in standing water for weeks.. Up until now they seemed to be thriving.

They all leafed out and then just died. No evidence of powdery mildew or the like.

How do we ascertain the cause of their demise?


G2V Farm
Zone 5B/6
Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/12/2019 06:22AM by Michael Phillips.
Re: Dead trees
June 12, 2019 06:35AM
Look below, Joanne. I suspect that Phytophthora is the issue. Root rot fungi claimed the niche at the buried base of the tree and destroyed the cambium. You will find extant bark down to the soil line and then things turn soft and mushy. The demarcation will be a sharp line between the reddish-brown (diseased) and white (healthy) portion of the crown or major roots. This reddish discoloration between diseased and healthy tissue distinguishes root and crown rot from other causes of tree decline and collapse such as “wet feet” (drowning) or winter injury. Asphyxiation is the other possibility . . . wet ground for an extended period is hard on trees.

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire
Re: Dead trees
June 13, 2019 02:39PM
Thanks Michael

I have cut into a few of the trees and there is no demarcation - just brown tissue. The roots are not mushy or smelly - but they are dark. The smaller roots are paler.

They were in wet, wet soil last fall (and high winds which almost toppled many of them) and this spring were certainly soaked. They mostly started to leaf out and then just shriveled and died.

I am attaching a couple of photos of a tree we dug up an rinsed the roots.

The majority of dead trees were 3 years old. Someone else has suggested apple replant disease? Last summer all these trees were spectacular....very healthy looking and vigorous.

Our local agriculture person will come next week and make a diagnosis and suggestions .

Hope the images work smiling smiley

Re: Dead trees
June 17, 2019 04:04PM
A test winter here in NE North Dakota low teens in early october.lots of deep cold bottoming out at around -36° followed by a late cold spring. Young trees that died to the snowline, Honeygold, kinderkrisp, Sweet Sixteen,Wedge,and a few Zestar1!
Also have a lot of trees that bloomed and leafed out but the leaves are small and cupped new growth is starting to grow out and looks ok. Cambium looks green and juicy and is slipping well. Is this winter injury or something else? Any thoughts on what this is would be appreciated! Silver lining is that Honeycrisp look great!!
On the line of zone 3and 4
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