Bryant RedHawk wrote:Hau Nicole, So you don't think that higher than normal January temperatures followed by cold (snow) isn't a weather factor?
If the tree did better after adding that duck, I would agree that there is a sign that your soil needs some amendments to increase what it is lacking at the moment.
You might also try some mycorrhizae and perhaps some bacteria additions along the way, those will really help the soil provide the tree what it needs.
Michael Cox wrote:All that grass growing right up close to them won't help either. Grass is strongly competitive towards fruit trees, and has a big impact in the first few years while they are getting established. I would be mulching a much larger area around the trees.
Nicole Alderman wrote:Could it be because my soils are damp? They're gravely loam, so they drain well, but this winter especially, it rained a LOT. Could this have caused dieback to the limbs?