What did you do in your orchard today?

LaurenRitz

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Very odd... at first it almost looks like it's been sprayed with a chemical something or another like 2, 4-D. But I doubt that is the case.

I believe it's a fungus, that probably over winters in the buds and wood chips and infects the tree when environmental conditions favor reproduction.

Do you spray fungicides, followed up with a dormant spray?

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I don't spray anything.
 

CrealCritter

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I don't spray anything.
i was thinking about your little cherry tree. It's going to drop it's leafs. Once it does I would try and give it a second chance by:

1) See if it's still alive with a scratch test. Near the top of the tree gently scratch away a small patch of bark with a sharp knife to get a visual of the cambium. If you see green under the bark it's still alive. If you see brown means it's dead or atleast that branch is dead.

If it's still alive.

1) Pull back the wood chip much away from its trunk and drip line down the bare soil. There is such a thing as fruit tree suffocation from too much mulch. Roots need to be able to gas off (breath). The maximum mulch depth rule of thumb for fruit trees, is generally 3 inches deep and mulch should not touch the trunk.

2) Then I would spray it organic fungicides alternate to the next the fungicide at the next spray interval. I would start with copper, then next spray interval sulfur, then copper again, then sulfur. It may re-leaf back out or it may not but atleast you can try and give it a second chance.

4) for an insecticide cover spray, you can mix water, neem and BT with a squirt of Palmolive orginal green (not the concentrate) to control most midwest insects, which there are plenty to choose from.

5) If your cherry tree does come back then spray it with dormant oil when it goes into dormancy and then again at bud swell late winter/early spring. And matain a fungicide spray schedule during pre bloom, bloom, petal coversprays. Look at your state university for a home orchard spray schedule.

4) If you don't already have one, get and learn how to use a soil PH meter. Cherry does best in a natural soil PH of 6.6 - 7.3 this is a fairly narrow range. shoot for 7.0. sulfur will lower the soil PH and lime will raise it's PH read labels for how much to apply.

Side note... from my experience... stone fruits are fungus magnets here in the Midwest. I've been able to keep our stone fruits mostly healthy with a organic spray schedule, insecticide cover sprays and adjusting soil PH. However I wouldn't hesitate using non-organics if I encountered something that would kill a fruit tree that organic can't control. I do however draw the do not use line with synthetics.

But all the above is just what I would try... Whatever you choose to do, Good Luck to you!

In closing... * An extra important note. Always follow the directions on the label. Contrary to popular believe, more of a product in terms of frequency and or amount is not better. It's considered off label and will likely do more damage than good.

Here's what I use for fungicides and dormant oil. They are labeled for organic gardening.
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Thanks for showing pictures, it really helps to see a visual and made me think 🤔

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LaurenRitz

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Still alive.
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The mulch is below the graft and only partial.
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The soil is heavy clay, saturated by rain. About ten feet away the "water level" is less than six inches below the surface.

None of the other trees (peaches, apricots, cherries, almonds, apples, plums and pears, mostly seedlings) are affected.

One almond seedling died, but it was in standing water for over a week so I'm not surprised.

I tend to do everything on an adaptive gardening basis. A plant or tree can't handle the environment, it probably shouldn't be growing in my yard. That being the case I don't often buy trees, but instead plant and grow my own from seed.

They tend to be far less susceptible to local pests and diseases, not to mention stronger and adapted to soil and my casual neglect.
 
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CrealCritter

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Mother in laws' last season bark grafted peach, appears to like it's new home. I've been staying on top of pinching it's side growth off it's central leader. I'll continue until it reaches a height of about 4 to 5 foot. Then I'll head it back so it'll branch out to grow it's first scaffold branches. hopefully i'll be able to prune to a three limb scaffold in a triangle fashion. I'm hopeful it'll grow well since I do know it's sitting on a good un-pruned roots.
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Also looking like another pear season is ahead of us. I don't spray our pear trees we are far enough south that the disease-resistant varieties do well enough with no help.

Seckel pear, also called candy pear.
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CrealCritter

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I had one of my cherry grafts die, because I got a little sloppy with the pruners when pruning back to a centeral leader. So I just re-grafted it and now it's flowering. So the graft has took :)

Both the cherry and pear grafts pictured are growing well, but a few of the cherries have really taken off. Still plenty of time left in the grow season. If I baby sit them well over summer, I should be able to plant them after they go dormant.
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CrealCritter

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Wild Black Cherry? Yes, but I would like some sweet cherries instead. So I cleft grafted in 4 stella and 1 bing scions. Will the scions take? IDK... but then again, I won't know unless I try.

Before
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After
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CrealCritter

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Well I am pretty comfortably saying bing cherry is compatible on wild black cherry rootstock. Tank and I grafted it Saturday afternoon, got bud break Monday afternoon. That's the fastest graft taker for me yet :oops:.

No sign of stella grafts breaking bud yet. Honestly I really would rather have stella because it's self fertile (no pollinator needed). Bing however is self sterile (needs a pollinator). But bing and stella together should set lots of cheries because they will pollinate eachother. There's still hope though, wild black cherry might be a pollinator for bing, IDK... This is kind of new territory not much info, that I can find on grafting differnt varieties onto wild black cherry.

It's a "Science Experiment" as FB calls it. I say science, no, experiment, yes, she still says its a science experiment :rolleyes:Perhaps sella needs more time, that's my hope anyways. This science experiment will run several weeks before I drawn any conclusions.

Bing scion on wild black cherry rootstock.
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