Leaf browning on newly-planted apple trees

posted in: Trees in trouble 0

Is leaf browning on newly-planted trees a sign of distress? Dan responds to a request in June 2020.

Hello, I enclose some photos of leaf browning on an apple orchard that I planted in Somerset in February 2020, a total of 56 trees. The varieties are: Kingston Black, Harry Masters Jersey, Fair Maid of Taunton and Hoary Morning. In dry weather the trees were watered once a week and, more recently, with the dry spell we have had, I have been watering every three days. The trees are on M25 rootstock, standard trees supplied with a 6ft clear stem. No fertilizer was used on planting, just mycorrhizal fungi. I would be grateful if you could diagnose this problem.

Dan’s reply:

Having looked carefully at the pictures you sent me, it seems to me that the tree went through a very stressful period about 3 weeks ago. The newly forming leaves seem to be OK again. Don’t forget that a tree expresses its well-being through the state of its foliage and the colour of its bark. Personally I would not worry, unless the newly-forming leaves also begin to show signs of deterioration.