May 25, 2020
I need some advice, two of my grafted apple trees in pots seem to have root rot. I tried putting them in better earth recently, I am confident that it is well drained and quite good stuff. But after about a week I noticed a black and brown stain up the first couple of inches of the trunk. I did dig a little to try and look at some of the shallower roots. Some seem fine others are certainly rotten.
I'm concerned that all the bark that is stained is effectively dead and there fore not feeding the top, which will now slowly dry out and die. Will the recover slowly or are they doomed?
March 16, 2015
Welcome to the forum. It sounds like you have a real problem. Unfortuneately, my crystal ball is currently out of working order. I would probably show it to someone or put something strong on it, like Neem oil, fungal compost tea, Serenade (TM), or other strong measures. They might work out of it over time, but I imagine that there is a high chance they won't. Hopefully, others will chime in.
Zeb, I grow a lot of trees, every year graft about 1500, playing with 15 varieties of rootstock. They all vary in some root rot susceptibility but even those with strong resistance can succumb. It's a mystery, but common enough. Phytophthora is the culprit but I believe there are a dozen different bacterial/fungal possibilities. Yes, tops, completely out of the soil brown out and die. I'll cut off the death to green wood and replant with usual success in keeping the rootstock. I've also come across a new pest-a little borer. Tiny 1/16" holes drilled in wounds and they carry some bacteria that kills the tree in days. They only attack older weaker rootstock in pots.
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