Answer: The leaves can turn brown if subjected to hot, drying winds. Otherwise, I'd check the soil drainage. Good drainage is extremely important. Avoid soils and sites that are not well drained. Poor drainage would be expected in an area where water stands for more than 24 hours after a rain. In these areas, roots will not receive enough oxygen and will die, resulting in stunted growth and eventual death of the tree. If such conditions exist, planting on a raised terrace will help. In areas with alkaline soils, cotton root rot is a severe problem for which there is no control at this time. If your landscape has a history of losing plants to this organism, avoid planting apples because they are very sensitive to it.
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