Evans Bali Cherry brown leaves

Asked September 9, 2016, 11:20 AM EDT

This is an Evans Bali Cherry we planted last fall. It was doing well and produced some fruit. Within a week or two, it has deteriorated to this. I wasn't as attentive to watering it within the last month as I probably should have been, so I'm wondering if that is the culprit.

Marathon County Wisconsin

4 Responses

If the whole tree is showing the symptoms then the problem lies with the trunk and or root system. The third picture is suggestive of drought stress.

I would investigate by digging to see if the tree has developed any roots since it was planted. If the roots are poorly developed or constricted, then the tree could not obtain enough water when soil moisture was lacking.

You can also see if there is evidence of canker / rotten wood at the base of the tree. Poor soil water drainage caused by heavy soils, soil compaction can also lead to tree decline, especially if the tree has been heavily watered.

The entire tree is basically brown. If it is indeed drought stress, anything I can do besides water and wait? There doesn't seem to be any trunk issues. Haven't looked at the root system but doubtful I'm knowledgable enough to know what would be considered new growth anyway.

July/August were hot and with relatively little rain. This tree gets direct sun for the majority of the day. I have a feeling I wasn't watering it enough.

Can I also have you take a peek at my new crabapple we planted last fall as well? It has some brown leaves. Is that due to drought stress as well?

To check the roots, dig around with your fingers to expose some of the roots and scrape a bit of the bark away with your thumbnail to see if it has cream colored interior with some moisture. If it is brown, dry and hard, it is dead or dying. There should be quite a few cream colored roots. See attached image. Check in several spots.

The crabapple leaves look like they have been chewed by beetles, perhaps Japanese beetles or a chafer. There are a few other insects that can make hole like this. Some June beetles do their feeding at night. The damage looks old, so perhaps the pests are no longer around.