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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Base of Nectarine Tree Rotting I Think

Q. We have a nectarine tree trunk that we have a question about. I am attaching photos of it. It looks like it’s rotting. We were going to wrap the trunk to further protect it but we don't know if it's the right thing to do. Please view the photos when you have the time and advise us on what we should do.

Readers nectarine tree
A. Nice pictures. I will post them on my blog. It looks like there is damage to the trunk as you suggest. I would pull the rock away from the trunk about a foot. Make sure that the source of the irrigation is not close to the trunk. Put the water source a foot to 18 inches from it if possible.      Secondly, make sure you are not watering too often. You should be watering right now about every 7 to ten days but with a large volume of water when you do… enough to wet the soil to a depth of 18 to 24 inches deep on at least two sides of the tree. Three or four emitters watering this tree would be better than just two as the tree gets bigger.

Closeup of readers nectarine tree
            Pull the bark away from the damaged area if the bark pulls away easily. If it doesn’t, then cut the bark away with a sanitized knife so the damaged area is exposed and clean for healing. Keep water off of the damaged area during irrigations until it heals, perhaps around May or June.

            If the rock was put around the trunk and it keeps the trunk wet above the soil line for the first several years, you may very well encourage trunk rot or collar rot on young trees. On young trees it is important to keep mulch away from the trunk a foot or so for about 5 years or more until the trunk matures and is less susceptible to rotting. Secondly, never irrigate frequently but deeply and less often.

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