Almonds shrivelling up and dropping

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Kriticat

  • Newbie
Almonds shrivelling up and dropping
« on: May 04, 2014, 11:51:45 AM »
I have 2 very healthy looking almond trees, last year the fruit all seemed to disappear before they were ripe, and I suspected theft (by bird, animal or reptile) however this year I am watching them shrivel up and drop off so that is probably what happened last year too
Could this be caused by too much water or not enough?
Any other ideas all gratefully received...
20 years gardening on a handkerchief in London, now creating a much bigger plot in the south of Crete...much to learn

Trevor Australis

  • Sr. Member
Re: Almonds shrivelling up and dropping
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2014, 01:23:59 AM »
How long have the trees been established? If they are young, say 2-5 yrs, it's unlikely they will be sufficiently established to produce a crop. However, water could be an issue - poorly drained soil in Winter would lead to root rots and subsequent incapacity to swell the kernels, insufficient water in Summer, especially on thin, rocky soils could also exert the same impact. That being said almonds are pretty tough, but they do prefer deep, well-drained soils. They grow very well here in commercial groves that are based on alkaline, somewhat sandy soils.
M Land. Arch., B. Sp. Ed. Teacher, traveller and usually climate compatible.

Kriticat

  • Newbie
Re: Almonds shrivelling up and dropping
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2014, 07:27:05 AM »
Thanks Trevor,
One of them has been in for 5 years, and has been setting quite a good number of fruit for the last couple of years, they just don't survive
They are on an automatic watering system in the summer when we're not here, but the fruit has long gone by then. The ground is rocky, alkaline and well drained, and plenty of wild almonds grow hereabouts
We've had very little rain these last couple of winters so have been watering them, but certainly no sign of water logging. Wouldn't the whole tree look sick if it was suffering from root rot?
20 years gardening on a handkerchief in London, now creating a much bigger plot in the south of Crete...much to learn

Trevor Australis

  • Sr. Member
Re: Almonds shrivelling up and dropping
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2014, 12:28:25 AM »
Yes, the whole tree would look sick if the roots were damaged by rot. Are the trees known/ named varieties or seedlings? Do you look inside the shrivelled nuts? Is there actually any sign of the white nut 'meat' or is there just the brown outer husk of the kernel inside the nut case? There is a chance that the nuts weren't fertilised/ pollinated and so have not properly developed and eventually dried up and fallen off. Do you have a healthy bee population?
M Land. Arch., B. Sp. Ed. Teacher, traveller and usually climate compatible.

David Bracey

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Re: Almonds shrivelling up and dropping
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2014, 06:58:14 AM »
try irrigating one tree and not the others...you may be just overwatering. 
MGS member.

 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.

Kriticat

  • Newbie
Re: Almonds shrivelling up and dropping
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2014, 08:42:26 AM »
Thanks Trevor,
No sign of any white meat inside the husk, hadn't considered pollination problem as we have a very happy, healthy bee population, but I'm now wondering whether they visit that part of the garden, although nothing else seems to have problems up there it is rockier and windier than most of our land
That's a good idea David, though the trees are so healthy looking I'm reluctant to change their 'diet' now, but I will try next year when they flower again.
20 years gardening on a handkerchief in London, now creating a much bigger plot in the south of Crete...much to learn

David Bracey

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Re: Almonds shrivelling up and dropping
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2014, 09:59:17 AM »
Please take a look at the pattern of "diseased " buds on your almonds..This may give you some clues regarding pollination or not.

For example I have noticed that olives tend to bear best on the SW corner of the tree.  I assume this reflects bee activity however it is also the windiest corner but also the sunniest ( see TMG 62 pp58-62.).

keep looking especially at olives close by .. In the locality and you will find the answer, possibly by elimination.
Please do not jump to conclusions.
MGS member.

 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.

*

John J

  • Hero Member
Re: Almonds shrivelling up and dropping
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2015, 07:28:02 AM »
Our neighbour's old almond tree this morning.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)