Some growers are seeing yellow almond trees in their orchard as we move into spring. U.C. Cooperative Extension advisors in both Fresno and Merced counties said growers have called them about the issue. “When we see yellow almond trees in the spring, it’s often tied to too wet of soils,” Tree Nut Farm Advisor David Doll said.
The color of the tree makes it look like there is a deficiency in the soil. Doll said however that when the soil is oversaturated, the tree can lose it’s fine feeder roots and making it unable to pull up micronutrients.
Yellow looking trees seem to be a little more common this season with wet conditions California hasn’t seen in half of a decade. Doll said although they are getting more calls from growers, it’s not an unfamiliar issue. “It’s a little more common this year because we have had more rain (than previous years),” he said. “But we see this every spring. It’s tied to the full soil profile from the overwintering rainfall, the weather, the rainfall that also happens as well as the grower wanting to get out a little bit of nitrogen or water.”
Doll said growers would usually see the color change in trees near the end of the rows, where there is a little more compaction, or in the wetter areas of the orchard. “So low spots, near irrigation lines or where the backwash is for the filter system,” he said.
Fortunately, there is an easy and relatively quick fix to the problem. “Simply said, just check the soil moisture,” Doll said. “If it’s wet in the root zone, don’t irrigate until it’s dry. The tree will bounce back pretty quick” Doll added that if the root zone is dry and the tree still looks yellow, there might be another issue such as a deficiency.
Find more information about yellowing trees from Doll’s blog post on The Almond Doctor website.