Peach Tree Leaves Yellowing

Asked August 18, 2018, 9:27 PM EDT

Hello, I have a contender peach tree that I purchased from bachmans and planted in our yard last fall. The peach tree was planted near a site that we removed a maple tree from because it was rotting at the base (previous owners allowed their dog to remove that tree's bark). In late June Japanese beetles were feasting on the tree, and someone at our local gardening store suggested we could put Kaolin Clay on the tree to help keep the beetles away, which I applied a few times over the next two weeks. The day of the first application it was quite hot out. I also fertilized the tree around that time on a very hot day (I'm new to gardening and now know that's not ideal!). About 6 weeks ago, some of the leaves started to get brown around the edges (and sometimes develop a few small holes that also get brown around the edges). Those leaves then turn yellow and fall off of the tree. This started with branches that are lower to the ground and leaves that are close to the tree's trunk. The tree is continuing to grow (branches getting longer, forming new leaves at the end of the branches) and the few peaches it has are ripening and doing well (we removed almost all of the buds this year to let it focus on root development). However, it's lost many leaves (almost 2/3 of the leaves on some of the branches) and I'm concerned about it! At this rate I'm afraid some of the lower branches could loose all of their leaves by mid to late September. I had called Bachman's info desk 3 or so weeks ago, and they thought that applying the kaolin clay and fertilizing on a hot day could have stressed the plant, and that all I could do is wait and see. I thought I'd reach out to you all to see if you had any additional thoughts or recommendations. I'm continuing to water the plan regularly and really hoping the tree will make it through the year and be healthy next year. I know it was a very ambitious plant choice for a new gardener, but it's beautiful pink flowers and those adorable little peaches have stolen my heart! Thanks so much for any help you can provide, Annie

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

Yellowing leaves are not surprising since this is the trees first year in a new location. It not well established yet and the summer has been very hot. It was also fertilized and you now know it didn’t need it and stimulating growth during hot weather probably, stressed it. Leaf drop is also a normal response to very hot weather. Water your tree when the soil is dry to a depth of two inches. Water until the ground freezes. You may be watering in late Nov. and i find this tedious and cold but it really helps trees get through the winter.