Apple Trees

Asked August 26, 2019, 5:05 PM EDT

I have 3 apple trees of varying age in my back yard. The 2 larger ones produced fruit, while the younger one hasn't produced yet. I noticed this year that the trees are losing their leaves VERY early (see attached photos). Is this normal or a sign of some problem?

Appreciate any assistance. Thanks

Carroll County Maryland disease issues fruit abiotic issues

1 Response

Hi- the early defoliation is likely due to one or more of the following factors- fungal diseases such as apple scab and cedar-apple rust, plant stressors such as excessively wet or dry soil, soil compaction, crowding (the trees were planted too closely together and branches are growing into each other).

Inspect your foliage for symptoms of leaf spot diseases and rake up and dispose of all diseased and fallen leaves, fruits, and twigs. This will help reduce the incidence of insect pest and disease problems next year. Keep trees well-watered during any dry periods this fall. Remove dead and dying branches during the dormant season and read these web pages about caring for apple trees and about apple problems and controlling pest problems using a variety of methods, including spraying:
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/tree-fruit
https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/456/456-018/ENTO-289C.pdf
Apple is quite susceptible to a host of pest problems and close management is required to produce a decent amount of edible fruit.
Jon