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By the end of June, our apple tree looked sickly, with faded, curling brown leaves. I am wondering if the leaves look the way they do because my husband doesn't spray regularly or because the tree is not getting enough water in our arid climate. When he does stick to a schedule, it seems that the leaves don't look much better. This is a tree that is nearly twenty years old. I have never noticed an infestation of bugs. Apples have gotten smaller and smaller by the year, most have worms. The tree is in our front yard and I really would like it to look healthy, regardless of whether or not we get eatable fruit. What should we do?

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A

It sounds like your tree is on its "last legs". Perhaps the root system is compromised in some way. Curling leaves might indicate herbicide damage. Wormy apples are due to codling moth. Some apple trees (Jonathan, especially) are very susceptible to powdery mildew, which affects the leaves.  In other words, there are many unanswered questions; I cannot tell you a firm diagnosis. 

If you would like to bring a small limb into our office, we may be able to help you better.

 

Posted on 16 May 2007

Maggie Wolf
Horticulture Agent, Salt Lake County

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