Sick apple trees...what do I do??

Asked July 9, 2020, 12:59 PM EDT

I have 5-6 apple trees a few of which are looking not good this year. No apples ever on Honeycrisp that have been in ground for 5 years. Trees are losing leaves resulting in full branches with no leaves, leaves curling, but no sign of bugs eating them that I can see. Very few apples on other trees this year too. I just took out sod and heavy mulched 3 feet around all trees...and put in tree stick fertilizer ( in late June). I don’t want to lose these trees, but not sure what to do next. Live in zone 3 near Crosslake. Pictures of Honeycrisp below

Crow Wing County Minnesota

2 Responses

It may take a little longer for the Honeycrisp to bear fruit. For apples, five to seven years is the usual time to first harvest after planting.

We can't be sure, but from what we can see in the photos the Honeycrisp appears to be exhibiting a leaf condition called zonal chlorosis. This usually isn't anything to worry about. Go here to learn about it:

Again, from what we can see in the photos, the trees appear to be leggy as though they are reaching for light. If the site is shady, this could account for the trees' failure to thrive. According to experts at Michigan State University "fruit trees require full sun (6-8 hours per day). Just a few hours a day of shade can negatively impact the rate of growth, fruiting potential and the cold hardiness of the plants."

Winter damage could also account for the scarcity of leaves.

Thank you much for your follow up..relief to me.

Good day!