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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Summer Leaf Scorch and Leaf Drop Can Signal a Lack of Water

Q. All developing yellow leaves plus other things going on indicate some trouble is brewing. Are these problems related to watering, bugs or both or something else?
Peach is notorious for borer problems. The scorching on the edges of peach leaves is a good indicator they are not getting enough water. They also will drop their leaves if water stressed. In the case of peach, I would look for borer problems in the limbs and interrupting the flow of water.
The reason these apricot leaves were damaged could be from a while back since the surrounding leaves appear to be healthy.
Citrus leaves will turn yellow from strong sunlight and a lack of water. This does not appear to be a fertilizer problem.
A. In the pictures you sent I see some leaves of peach that have brown or scorched edges and some apricot leaves that look damaged. With the apricot, leaves that are surrounding the damaged leaves appear to be just fine. Your citrus leaves are yellowing as well.

None of this appears to be a lack of iron or fertilizer.

Most of this looks like a lack of water to the leaves. Look at the newest growth and compare it to the oldest growth. If the older leaves are damaged and the newer leaves are not, then this tells me the problem occurred earlier in the season. Healthy new growth tells me the problem has been corrected.

If leaves have turned brown all over the tree or all over one limb and the new growth doesn’t look like it’s improving, then this tells me the problem is still going on and something needs to be done. 

Water travels from roots to the tops. Reasons for a lack of water may not be because not enough water is applied. If water is not reaching the upper branches even though enough water was applied to the tree, it can be from damage to the roots, trunk or limbs.

Damage to the trunk or limbs can also interrupt the flow of water to leaves. This becomes evident during the heat of the summer when the leaves require more water.

Look for borer damage in the limbs, particularly to the peach. Borer damage usually occurs on the upper surfaces of major limbs that are exposed to bright sunlight.

Apply wood chip surface mulches to the soil surface to cool the soil, reduce weed problems and slow the loss of water from the soil. 

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