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Unhappy apricot

    4 responses

Kath5 starts with ...
My newcastle apricot has been looking unhappy all summer and I can't figure out why. The leaves are green and I couldn't see any suspicious blemishes, but they are all rolled up.

It is in grey sandy soil on a bit of a slope, it is in part shade with a lot of indirect light from nearby pale fences. I've had it for about 2 years, this is the first year that it has bloomed but the fruit fell off while very small, I gave it a light prune after that. I'm pretty sure it hasn't put out a single new leaf since spring. It may have dried out a bit at the start of summer, I mulched it with pea straw and started watering more frequently about 2 months ago. It occasionally gets a little seasol or dirty water from the quails.

A neighbouring peach of the same age has had exactly the same treatment, it fruited and is doing fine. A nearby loquat has had everything the same minus the prune and is doing great.

I've tried google but didn't find anything useful. Has anyone seen something like this before? It doesn't seem very serious but it isn't getting better.
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Kath5
GIRRAWHEEN,6064,WA
23rd February 2018 4:30pm
#UserID: 14327
Posts: 18
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David says...
Hi Kath5,

I have 3 apricot trees. When the tree was young, less than 5 year old I water them 3-4 times a week. However, now they are more than 15 year old, I only water once a week or two. Back to your question, it looks like the tree under water stress. It could be soil problem, but I suggest you try water first. Use fresh water (not dirty water) say a bucket 15 l every day for 2-3 weeks to see whether the situation improved. If not then check the soil. Cheers
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David01
Melbourne
24th February 2018 3:02pm
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Original Post was last edited: 25th February 2018 4:52pm
Julie says...
Kath, I can't help with your problem, sorry. My Newcastle died last year - it was very old.

I wondered where you bought yours, as it is an old-fashioned variety and rarely seen these days.
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Julie
Roleystone WA
25th February 2018 2:20pm
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David01 says...
Hi Kath5,
If your tree grows on the sandy slope but soil around the tree never dried out completely then it is a bit unusual. I was wondering have you tried to dig a small hole at the depth 0.4m near the tree to see what the soil like, wet or dry. If it is wet then then I suspect your area has more salinity than normal. As tree grows in the salt-affected soils often has the same appearance as plant growing under moisture stress (drought) conditions even you over watering it. Depends on the salinity level, sometimes it does not show tip burn of leaves so it is difficult to identified unless you have proper soil test equipment which can be measured its electroconductivity and it should not exceed 600 microSiemens per centimetre for stone fruits. Unfortunately, the equipment is not available to many of us. PH is ideally between 5.5 to 6.5 but I don’t think PH is the problem. Any way if you could not find anything wrong then the simple solution is to remove the tree as it is still young, dig up a large hole size around 0.5 x 0.5m and at depth 0.4m and refilled it with new garden soil+compost. Cheers

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David01
Craigieburn
28th February 2018 10:19am
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Kath5 says...
Thanks for the replies, not sure what happened to my previous reply.

I'll try extra water for now, I've also planted some soy beans around the tree to stabilise the soil and hopefully give a little nitrogen boost. If that doesn't help then I'll move it when it goes dormant.

Julie, I think I got it at Lena in Wangara. How did your old tree do while it was alive? Apricots don't seem to thrive around Perth, but from what I'd read Newcastles should be ok in theory.
About the Author
Kath5
GIRRAWHEEN,6064,WA
8th March 2018 2:30pm
#UserID: 14327
Posts: 18
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