was hoping you all could help me with a mystery. My wife and I recently bought a property in northern Indiana where we plan to start a permaculture-based homestead. The property came with several nice items, including a handful of fruittrees on the east side of the house. The fruit trees are obviously fairly young, maybe all 7-8ft tall. But when we got here we immediately noticed that most if not all of them appeared quite unhealthy. One was already totaly dead and another is barely clining to life. Another seems like it may be on the verge of going that way, and the last two appear healthy, with one appealing to be afflicted but fighting strong, and the final tree being the only one that seems basically unaffected for now. I really want to save these trees, and figure what what is killing them, especially since I plan to have a small forest garden and my parents-in-law have already bought us a new apple tree as a Christmas gift. I'm trying to find a decent arborist in this area but I realy want to know whats this is and if I can do anything myself.
So...from the attached photos, does anyone know what could be wrong? Anyone ever seen this before? I would really appreciate any advise and help in identifying this disease or pest and ways to fight it organically (and hopefully inexpensivley).
Estimating on the basis of our apple trees these seem maybe about 7 years old. If you find out for sure that they are much older then they are really not growing so well.
The white splotches (is this what you meant by mysterious blight?) are lichen, telling you that air quality is good; but possibly also that the trees are not in full vigor. Lichen does not harm the tree.
The tree on the first photo seems OK to me, the second very questionable, the third could go either way (bark seems to be quite cracked; maybe post a pic of the entire tree), the fourth OK again. Personally I would dig out #2 as it seems really weak. As to #3, in my developing experience apple trees often look like zombies but as long as they are of good size keep bearing quite well.
(And now you can tell me that photos #2 and #3 are of the same tree
Does your soil have any special properties like being unusually wet / heavy / extreme pH ?
do you know what kind of trees they are? the middle 2 pictures seem to be a prunus of some sort and not apples, at least one of which seems to have a pretty bad case of black knot...cherry, plum, peach? what’s the soil like? what’s the space around the trees like, as in, how much airflow is there. many prunus can suffer from fungal diseases that can be made worse by still wet air.
i agree that the lighter lichen patches are nothing to worry about.
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