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Are these trees dead?

 
Posts: 52
Location: The dry side of Spokane, USDA zone 6ish, 2300' elevation.
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We planted 22 trees last year in a mixed fruit and nut orchard that we hope to develop into a food forest. Midway through the summer,we got the full effect of the drought. Our well went dry, and our pond dropped too low to draw from. I couldn't get any water to them since Mid July. Three of them looked like goners going into winter. We had a hard freeze in early winter before we had any snow. It now looks like we may have lost 10. A few of these I can't quite tell. The bark has a healthy color and the trunk is flexible, but when I scrape, I can't find the green Cambrian layer. The ones I can't tell are an apple, a hazelnut, an American chestnut, and a plum. These are what the scrapes look like. Should I write them off, or wait?
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steward
Posts: 6099
Location: United States
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Have you checked all the parts of the tree? The tree may have died in only a few sections. What section of the trees are we looking at in the pictures?
 
E Reimer
Posts: 52
Location: The dry side of Spokane, USDA zone 6ish, 2300' elevation.
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These were new saplings, no branches yet. You're looking at the main trunk about halfway up on all of them.
 
pollinator
Posts: 4665
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Do you need to move them soon to make way for something else? If not I think I would wait a little longer and give them a chance. Are any of them grafted to a rootstock that may come up ?
 
pollinator
Posts: 754
Location: Porter, Indiana
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The one in the upper left corner looks like a goner to me with all that wrinkling. However, even if the trunk is dead the roots could be alive and send up a new trunk in the spring.
 
Posts: 415
Location: Georgia
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You will know soon enough. I wouldn't give up on them.
Plants can surprise you in a lot of different ways.
 
E Reimer
Posts: 52
Location: The dry side of Spokane, USDA zone 6ish, 2300' elevation.
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All are grafted onto rootstock.
 
steward
Posts: 1390
Location: Northwest Montana from Zone 3a to 4b (multiple properties)
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I'd give it a wait and see for now. If nothing else, your rootstock may have survived and now you get to try out your grafting skills. If enough of the grafted portion survived, you could get new growth from there. I've had it go three ways from grafted trees, new growth on the graft, new growth from the rootstock and completely dead. By mid-May to June you will know what your circumstance is on this.
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