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Monday, April 21, 2014

Almond Failed to Leaf Out

Q. I planted an All-in One Almond, Saturn Peach, 5-in-1 Apricot, and most recently, a Pink Lady Apple. My almond has not leafed out yet. The tissue is still green and flexible, but there is some die back at a few tips. Could this be transplant shock of some sort?
I am a little worried that I did not plant it in a good area. I realized after I prepped the hole that the roots sit right above a hard, compacted soil layer (not caliche). I widened the hole to encourage the roots to spread outward, but remember thinking that I should consider moving the location, but ran out of time. Nemaguard rootstock.
Neplus Ultra in bloom at the orchard. It blooms first, followed by leaf growth.

A. They are slow to start growing in the spring. Have some patience. They will produce flowers first followed by growth. If there are no flowers ready to bloom then they may skip this step and go directly into growth.

Do not water more than twice a week right now but it should be a good thorough watering.  The biggest problem now is to water them too often out of panic.

Make sure you planted them the same depth as they were in the container. Do not plant them too deep or they can get collar rot.

When you plant them, you should have a basin around the base of the trees initially (about three feet in diameter) and use this to collect water from a hose to water them in addition to any drip emitters you are using. In the spring make sure they have a few days between watering when the soil can dry out. When watering, water all at once and then hold off until the next watering.

The additional water from a hose and a basin is needed to help settle the soil around the roots and leach out any excess salts in your soil. Once you water them with a hose for a couple of weeks (perhaps four waterings) you should see a good flush of growth. You can stop hand watering with a hose at this time, get rid of the basin and revert to drip only.  Not sure of the size of the trees but give them about five to ten gallons additionally with the hose each watering day.

1 comment:

  1. From Tom Spellman at Dave Wilson Nursery. He spoke with the owner of this fruit tree. (Thanks Tom!)
    Bob, tried to post this response on the Almond not leafing out comment.

    This tree should have been pruned back at planting time. For best results select three or four well spaced, strong scaffolding branches and remove all other branching and twig growth. The top should never be any larger than the root system or proper dormancy break and vigor will be compromised.