Sick Trees

I have noticed that there are a handful of trees that have turned yellow and started to defoliate. I have heard from other growers that it is normal for olives to yell a bit in the winter, but these seem to be excessively so. And it is only a handful of them, interspersed in the rest of the orchard. The olive expert at UC Davis told me I wasn’t watering or fertilizing correctly, but that doesn’t make sense because it is one tree in the middle of a row and its neighbors are either doing fine or are slightly yellowing. I asked if it could be Peacock Spot, a fungus that attacks olive trees, and he dismissed that as unlikely. Not super helpful…

A distressed trees in the orchard

One of these things is not like the others

Potential fungus

Yellowing, distressed Arbequina tree

So I took samples of the leaves from the trees that are looking sick as well as those that are just marginally yellow, as well as soil and water samples, and packed it off to the labs for nutrient and pathogen testing. It will take a week for the tissue testing results and 3-4 weeks to get the pathogen results back.

Meanwhile, we will keep an eye on them and make sure they get good water.