I just moved into a new house and it has a Cherimoya Tree!!! so excited, have wanted to try this fruit for a long time - but there's one problem - The leaves are starting to brown, and the rest of the internet is all conflicted. anyone here who can help?
I am Zone 10, Southern California, USA, and the tree is at least 30ft tall, so it obviously has been healthy for many years(and was much greener when I first arrived.
We got a lot of rain the past month, and that hasn't perked it up at all. The Google tells me the leaf browning could be caused by:
- Too MUCH water,
- Too LITTLE water,
- not enough Potassium,
- or that this is the normal leaf drop/dormancy before budding immediately after... but the leaf drop should happen closer to April, and not now(early January)?
No idea what is wrong with it. I think it has been neglected and didn't get enough water. Let the leaves fall and they will come back (most likely), but don't stop watering them or giving them foilar spray.
My trees often look like that too before leaf drop. I wouldn't worry about it if it was here, but where I live cherimoya are self-sowing weeds that thrive with zero inputs so I'm not familiar with growing them in climates where they need irrigation.
You say so excited, have wanted to try this fruit for a long time, do you mean wanted to try eating the fruit, or growing the fruit? I find cherimoya a very frustrating fruit. Super easy to grow, and amazing to eat... for a few years. Then after a decade or so of producing fruit you one day realise you are not eating too many, then a few years later you're pulling up all the annoying weed seedlings of useless cherimoya from all the fruit that has dropped on the ground! I've got about 50 fruiting cherimoya trees, and thousands of seedlings which will be fruiting soon, unless I get around to killing them first. Btw, cherimoya is probably the best example of a fruit tree that is likely tobe equally good as a seedling as when grafted, and can produce fruit within 4 years.
Ben - I want to eat this fruit! I've never had it before, as it's too expensive at the store here in California(which is another reason I'm excited, selling seedlings should be good business here as well, they don't grow like weeds in our area).
4 months later and the Cherimoya seems to be recovering, albeit SLOWLY - some leaves greened back up, but a lot fell, and there are few left, BUT there are new leaf buds coming out as of a few weeks ago.
I have since eaten several of the fruits as well, and they are simply delicious - we let one get a little too overripe, but ate it frozen and it was delicious too!!
For some reason, I didn't notice this thread back when it was first posted or I would have responded.
Your leaf "problems" are just last year's leaves going through the last stages of life before they drop off the tree and are replaced by a new flush of growth. I'm in the same zone as you -- same region -- and my cherimoya loses most of its leaves in Feb. and March. There are still a few hanging around, but once they get all tired and dried out on the edges (as your picture shows your tree to be), they're ready to drop.
That's a good time to prune your tree back --- late winter/early spring. I cut my tree back by about a third at the end of Feb. and now it's really taken off. Its absolutely loaded with blossoms and new growth. I don't imagine that it would be too late right now to cut it back if you so desired.
My experience is that cherimoya are tough suckers. They seem to thrive on a good stout annual pruning.
Best of luck.
"The rule of no realm is mine. But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, these are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail in my task if anything that passes through this night can still grow fairer or bear fruit and flower again in days to come. For I too am a steward. Did you not know?" Gandolf
Ben Waimata wrote:I've got about 50 fruiting cherimoya trees, and thousands of seedlings which will be fruiting soon, unless I get around to killing them first. Btw, cherimoya is probably the best example of a fruit tree that is likely tobe equally good as a seedling as when grafted, and can produce fruit within 4 years.
I would like to grow cherimoya in France ! My tree die in spring, maybe it's because of the wind, the cold winter (but the new leaves appears, and the plant start to die)... I don't know why ?
I will try another location : in Menton (the best climate in France between Monaco and Italy) almost no frost and no wind ! But the maximum temperature in winter is cold (about 13°C average high in winter). I have notice some specimen on the coast, but my garden is 3 km far from the coast. What do you think ? Is there any frost resistant species ? Here in Europe there is only Fino del Jete (from Spain).