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Fruit Trees Failing To Thrive - Diseased?

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In the fall of 2008 I planted two semi-dwarf apple trees -a honeycrisp and a Johnny Red- at my home in Central Connecticut. I cleared the land from the forest and the soil is a bit clayey but otherwise good (I have a nice garden nearby). In the spring of 2009 I added two semi dwarf persimmon trees in between.

On a sunny day the spot gets 4-5 hours of sun, though of course this is Connecticut, so sometimes we go days without sun.

Anyway, the trees have uniformly failed to thrive.

Their vertical growth has been slow and there is little in the way of horizontal branch growth.

When I planted them I added in a lot of good compost, and every year I've mulched them and added more good soil around them, to no avail.

My Johnny Red seems to have some sort of disease. One of my persimmon trees had much of its growth die over the winter (frost? - the catalog said it could handle my CT's Climate) and the other two have been pretty mediocre in growth.

I've included a picture of the leaf blight that is affecting my Johnny Red. There also seems to be a strange gloopy stuff at the ends of the branches, which you can see in the picture.

I've also given included a pic (IMG-3130) of my Honeycrsip, which is healthiest. I'm wondering if this is normal size.

Any idea what's wrong and what I should do differently?

I'm looking to identify what's wrong with my trees and what disease the Johnny red has.

[Thumbnail for LeafBlight.jpg]
[Thumbnail for IMG_3130.jpg]
Posts: 262
Location: Coast Range, Oregon--the New Magic Land
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Your fruit trees don't have enough sun, and probably there is a lot of stagnant air(things look pretty dense surrounding the tree in your photo). The stagnant moist air is perfect to grow fungus.

We have lots of feral fruit trees here, pear, apple and cherry. The ones that thrive are in full sun, have at least two sides exposed/unblocked to open fresh moving air--the canopy, there is plenty of stuff right up around the trunks.

Did you keep them well watered the first summer?
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