[NAFEX] Dying tree

david.maxwell at dal.ca david.maxwell at dal.ca
Thu Jul 21 13:15:27 EDT 2011

One tree in my orchard has decided to die in the past few days, and I have no idea what 
could be the cause.  Any thoughts or advice greatly appreciated.  The tree in question is cv. 
Gideon, on Ottawa-3 rootstock, about 7 years old.  It has suddenly wilted - all the leaves are 
drooping, the fruit is starting to dry up and wrinkle.  It is not black, nor are there shepherd 
crook deformities to suggest fireblight.  It is just wilting.  The trunk looks entirely intact.  No 
sign of borers, (which I do have elsewhere in the orchard). No holes suggestive of voles 
eating the roots. Tree on either side look fine. There are a number of healthy-looking root 
suckers springing up, suggesting to me that the roots are in fact OK, and the problem lies in 
something plugging the vascular channels above ground, eg. a fungal disease - are there 
such things?  I very much doubt that there is anything I can do to save this tree, but what 
should I do in terms of management at this point?  (cut it off at ground level and use one of 
the root suckers to build a new tree?  Dig the whole thing up and examine the root system for 
a clue?  Any other suggestions?

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