Dead apple trees

Asked April 26, 2018, 6:42 PM EDT

Do stumps from dead apple trees leach acid into the surrounding soil? I have been told that is true by a landscaper. My arbor vitaes - after 4 years in the ground- are dying one at a time... they were planted 2 ft away from the stump... I cannot find anything at all online about this issue... I have lost 3 trees now... Thanks for your help...

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

Apple trees do not leach acid into soil. We have never heard of anything related to this topic at all.

The remaining organic matter from your apple tree is decaying in the soil, enriching it.

We only see one dead tree in the photo, but you mention that 3 died. In the same spot? The other trees look great.

We can't see clues to why the trees would be dying from the photo, except that they appear to be mulched up to the trunk. Always keep mulch a few inches back from the trunk. Mulch on trunks encourages disease and insect problems. It also lets voles hide there and gnaw on the trunk and roots.

Once a tree has died, it is virtually impossible to say why it died. If another tree starts to fail, send us photos--both close up of affected parts and a wide angle view.

Meanwhile, review the situations in the following publication that are not obvious but are just as often killers of plants as insects or diseases: