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Could my Apricot tree have been totally killed by late frost?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 181
Location: Central Ohio, Zone 6A - High water table, heavy clay.
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While perusing the orchard yesterday, I made a sad discovery. My Chinese Sweet Pit Apricot, seemingly the happiest and fastest-growing tree on the property, looks totally zapped.

It was blooming when we had some late frosts, and I know that can hinder fruit set and zap the blossoms, but all the leaves are brown, dead and dry. It looks completely dead, minus some suckers making their way up from the bottom (even before this happened, it was very "suckery").

It's sitting amongst a bunch of plum and pear trees that are completely unfazed, and is about 15 feet from a Hunza Apricot that was also in bloom at the same time but is in full leaf with no apparent issues.

Is it possible that the frosts we had actually killed the tree above the ground? The temps during that time were hardly ever more than a degree or two below freezing, and we never had a truly hard frost. Does a tree become less cold-hardy overall when it blossoms? Do you think it will come back? I'm confused.
 
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
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They are very cold hardy, and a bloom or bud kill will rarely damage more than one seasons crop.
Always paint the trunk white on em to keep em from blooming too early.

Most likely is voles or crown rot, they dont need as much water as other trees, next time plant them at an edge that gets less water.
 
Matt Smith
Posts: 181
Location: Central Ohio, Zone 6A - High water table, heavy clay.
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Morgan Morrigan wrote:They are very cold hardy, and a bloom or bud kill will rarely damage more than one seasons crop.
Always paint the trunk white on em to keep em from blooming too early.

Most likely is voles or crown rot, they dont need as much water as other trees, next time plant them at an edge that gets less water.



Heh... around where I live "a place that gets less water" means another county.

Would voles or crown rot hit it all at once? Cause it went from looking fine earlier this spring to WHAM... very dead looking. Also, would it still be suckering from the base if it was crown rot?
 
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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it might have been in a frost pocket or the frost may have been blocked around it by something that prevented the frost from flowing away. Or it just might be more tender than the plants around it. Generally most trees will recover from their leaves and buds being killed by frost, however, some do die. I would leave it alone for a while and see if it comes back ..also check the area for flow, make sure nothing is blocking the flow away from it..no barriers..read up on frost pockets and frost flow.
 
Morgan Morrigan
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
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Dig down a bit on the side of it that is not suckering, and find a biggish root.
Scrape off just the outer cambrium/color.

Dark brown zombie flesh ? Rot. In close to trunk? crown rot.
NO mulch right around trunk !


Walk around the close perimeter, just outside the tree well.
Jam your heel down. If it gives a lot, either you have a tunnel, or the long roots rotted back.

May want to build a Hugel to plant it on , if it started that well.
Next year , wrap the trunk with pipe wrap, plastic bags, newspaper, whatever.

How close are the suckers to the old trunk?
 
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