Last spring, my 5-6 year old Black Tartarian cherry bloomed beautifully for the first time. Then it *died*. The leaves either didn't open, or opened and promptly shriveled. I chalked it up to root rot, shrugged my shoulders, and sadly cut it down (it was the largest and most attractive tree in my little orchard before it died). A month or so later the roots sent up some shoots, so it wasn't root rot.
This spring, my 6-year old peach tree is doing the same thing... covered in blossoms, then the majority of the leaf buds look dried up. Those that are opening are at the ends of the branches/stems. It is across the driveway from the cherry I removed, so it's not as likely to be a soil-borne problem. All my other stone fruit trees (several cherries and plums) are healthy this year (except the nectarine which has peach-leaf curl despite my best clean-up and fungicide spray efforts).
I'm ready to give up on peaches and nectarines anyway, since this tree (a multi-variety graft) hasn't borne more than 3-4 fruits despite being covered with blossoms and pollinators. Between that and leaf curl - pfft. But I'd like to know what I'm dealing with so I can protect the rest of my stone fruits. Has anyone seen these particular symptoms?
On an unrelated note, since I'm going to have two "openings" in my orchard space shortly... I've got lots of apples and pears in addition to the stone fruits, a quince, and a Shipova Mt. Ash. Anyone have a favorite something to fill those gaps?
Welcome to the forum naadhira.
Many stone fruit tend to get bacterial disease in our typically wet springs here in the Willamette Valley.
Your location would help us determine the situation.
Peaches, nectarines, and apricots are especially difficult here.
Yikes - sorry! I'm in Molalla on a mostly-sunny 7 acres at about 600'.
In my opinion, shipova gets too much disease to be worth growing here-a conclusion that many have made about apricot, peach, nectarine.
I like pie cherries, American persimmons, paw paws, or very specific flavors of apples, but that's just what I would do.
I have a very healthy/prolific Montmorency pie cherry, along with a Rainier and a Van sweet cherry - but given this possible bacterial/viral thing, I may plant another for backup. And I'm WELL covered for "specific flavors" of apples: Yellow Newtown, Roxbury Russet, Spitzenberg, Pink Pearl, Liberty, Granny Smith, Redstreak, Golden Delicious, White Winter Pearmain, Yellow Bellflower, Transcendent Crab and Whitney Crab. (Hubs and I make many gallons of hard cider every year.)
I think I'll try pawpaws again. Had a taste at the HOS tasting a couple of years back, planted a couple... and my neighbor who "helpfully" mows my orchard ran them down - he didn't see them. <sigh>
Thanks for your suggestions!