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Sudden death of leaves on potted apple tree

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I bought a dwarf apple tree from the supermarket a few months back. Said it was suitable for pots but it was too late to plant it out anyway so into a bigger terracotta pot it went and it's been growing really well.
Yesterday evening I noticed the leaves looked a bit droopy and I water/fed it. This morning some of the leaves including big ones are half crispy brown, the patches start from the tip or outside to the middle before enveloping the leaf.
The tip shoots are now curled and brittle but I can see nothing inside. There is some white fluffy stuff at some leaf joints but not the ones dying. A bit of the bark on one semi hardwood bit has been eaten away. It's all occouring on the grafted part and not on the root stock part that goes half way up the trunk
No sign of bugs,   no sign of rust or mildew, cool sheltered space with light but the area is too windy for preditory insects and it's been as happy as larry until the last 2 days. I'm devastated and helpless as searches don't bring up this combination.
Any ideas?

The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well

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Replies

  • twopennytwopenny Forumite
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    Found a tiny green caterpillar in one rolled up leaf on the new shoots and a small brown pupae in another.
    The white fluff at leaf joints when I wiped it with a paper towel, came off with black specks and a redish brown colour. :/

    The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well

  • RASRAS Forumite
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    the white fluffy stuff is probably woolly aphid. Not good news.

    I'd ask the supermarket for a refund.


    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • twopennytwopenny Forumite
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    Ras I've had the tree for a couple of months at least (time is a struggle at the mo) so a refund is unlikely
    I'll resist the temptation for supermarket trees in future. The apple is an odd variety and the cherry too. That needs a polinator so I need 2! And of course they aren't stocking them now. Was hoping at least for some pretty spring blossom.
     But for making a garden on virgin soil and none around me to contaminate I've got every disasterous bug going this year. Mainly on my precious new fruit trees.

    The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well

  • FarwayFarway Forumite
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    I know it's been watered, but is there a possibility the core of the pot is dry?
    Sometimes the water just runs through and never really gets to the centre of the root ball
    Plus a terracotta pot is ideal for baking roots
    Try & move it into shaded area and really soak it

  • twopennytwopenny Forumite
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    Farway, thanks for the thought. It's a good one. It is quite sheltered there from any rain. I'll test the soil before soaking and put it in a bowl of water with some tomato food. Frankly it don't think I can do a lot more harm.
    I've actually moved it out of shelter but it's not in full sun. There's always a breeze. It's mild enough here.
    It was the speed of this thing. Since I removed the caterpillar and pupae and white fluff it's got no worse.
    I did wonder if it had anything to do with 2 box balls nearby that died (completely dead leaves)  within a fortnight of buying them and I left them in the ground because the branches were still alive. Hoping they might recover.



    The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well

  • peter_the_piperpeter_the_piper Forumite
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    Worth looking to see if there are any vine weevil maggots eating the base. They hatch about May so could have spent 2 months gnawing at the roots.
    I'd rather be an Optimist and be proved wrong than a Pessimist and be proved right.
  • peter_the_piperpeter_the_piper Forumite
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    Worth looking to see if there are any vine weevil maggots eating the base. They hatch about May so could have spent 2 months gnawing at the roots.
    I'd rather be an Optimist and be proved wrong than a Pessimist and be proved right.
  • twopennytwopenny Forumite
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    Peter it's an interesting idea but so many bugs, small green catterpillars, white flies that aren't White Fly, fast moving green flies that aren't Greenfly. It's putting on new leaves at the tip and so far no more damage but not a pretty sight.
    It was sheltered, whether they came with the plant or hung on I don't know. My instinct is no more supermarket trees. Now it's out in a stiff breeze. It might be the odd variety I;ve not heard of is susceptible
    Though this year my young healthyplum got a plum bug and the cherry got cherry fly. Along with black fly and green fly I'm fed up with the fight.
    Always had no problems before. Maybe it's just been a bad year.

    The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well

  • Soot2006Soot2006 Forumite
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    I've never had much luck with supermarket trees. I had a little supermarket apple tree that got the best care in the world and it was "healthy" as in no disease, but it forever looked like the runt of a litter! ... 7 years later it was still scrawny and hadn't grown up or out much. It still lost its leaves early every Fall, sprung a few tiny, shriveled up blossoms in spring, and then for 7 years always attempted to grow a single pathetic apple that never ripened before dropping off. I kept the tree because I felt sorry for it, and it was oddly resilient in its own way, fighting to survive for all those years without ever thriving. Its nursery siblings planted at the same time were tall and strong and fruiting boldly by the time we moved house. I almost took it with me as I felt an odd duty towards it ...
  • FarwayFarway Forumite
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    I think we can all sympathise with you Soot, buying a plant, either reduced or it's the only one left, and then watching it struggle on for years while hoping it will "perk up"

    Much the same as planting fruit pips or stones and watching this little green thing grow, hoping it'll be even tastier than it's parent
    Which is why we're gardeners
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