[NAFEX] Apple leaf discoloration

Jason MacArthur rotread at localnet.com
Sun Oct 24 08:19:25 EDT 2004

    I am hoping for some help identifying what looks to me to be a 
troubling pattern of leaf discoloration in my apple orchard.  Starting 
in approximately mid September, a few trees in my orchard started to 
develop pronounced purple leaf veins, with some leaves becoming 
entirely purple while others stayed green except on the veins.  As time 
has gone on, more trees have followed this same pattern- some whole 
trees have a purplish hue to them, while their neighbors(same variety, 
same rootstock) remain much more on the green side of the spectrum.  
There doesn't seem to be a big difference between older and younger 
growth, although the degree of purplishness can vary from branch to 
	My first thought and hope is that this is the tree starting to change 
color for the fall, but the color is unlike the colors I  am seeing in 
the old apple trees around my orchard.  They seem more yellow to red.  
Clearly a picture is worth a thousand words in a case like this, but 
does this ring any alarm bells with anyone?  My worst fear is that this 
is boron poisoning. Following foliar analysis this summer which showed 
extremely low B levels I sprinkled Borax, 1/4 cup per tree, in a band 
down the row middle.   This doesn't seem an excessive amount but the 
color change started approximately a week after this.
	Any thoughts or similar experiences which could be shared to soothe a 
neurotic new orchardist?  Happy Fall everyone!

Jason MacArthur
Marlboro, VT

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