The Q&A Archives: Wilting Curling Leaves And No Fruit On Apple Tree.

Question: Last year my apple tree produced a lot of small fruit and then the fruit shriveled and died before maturing. This year the same tree had lots of blossoms, then the leaves seemed to wilt, curl and half way up the branches they are turning brown and crunchy. And there is absolutely no fruit. What can I do to treat this tree?

Answer: Sometimes trees set more fruit than they can possibly mature so they drop some of it. You can help things along by regularly thinning the fruit when it's still very small (about mid-June). Thin to 1-2 fruit per cluster. The resulting fruit will be larger and more flavorful.

If your tree was not able to support both the fruit and itself last year, it's likely that it chose to support itself, at the expense of fruit this year. Wilting, curling leaves are a definite sign of stress - too much water perhaps, or too little, or a sign of a common fungal disease called apple scab. It's too late to prevent the problem this year but you should rake and remove the fallen leaves to prevent reinfection. Next spring spray your apple tree with Bordeaux (lime sulfur) beginning just as the leaf buds begin to swell, and again (usually 3 more times) as recommended on the label. These treatments will protect the leaves from scab. Good luck with your apple tree!

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