Heat is just one of the many reasons why your Jujube tree might be dying. Other potential causes include under-watering, over-watering, disease, nutrient deficiency, or stress caused by rapid temperature changes or transplant shock. In this section, we’ll look at how to save a dying jujube tree from heat and how to deal with a variety of other potential causes.
What’s Wrong With My Jujube Plant?
To begin, you must determine the most likely cause of your tree’s death so that you can apply the appropriate solution.
Fortunately, once you notice your tree isn’t looking so great, you usually have a few weeks or even months before it completely dies, depending on the cause of the problem.
Although pinpointing the exact problem can be difficult at times, it is simply a process of elimination.
1. IS MY JUJUBE ALIVE OR DEAD?
Begin by ensuring that your Jujube tree is still alive. Simply scratch some of the bark off a small branch to accomplish this. If it’s green on the inside, it’s still hanging on. If there is no green in the branch, try again on another.
If you can’t find green on any of the branches you try, it’s possible that it’s too late.
2. EXCESSIVE OR INADEQUATE WATER
Both underwatering and overwatering can be problematic. It could cause leaves, flowers, or fruit to fall off and the tree to die.
It is fairly simple to test the soil for moisture. Make a small hole the size of your index finger 12 inches to two feet away from the tree’s trunk, and feel the soil for moisture. If the hole is bone dry, the tree needs watering; if it fills with water or is very wet to the touch, you may be over-watering.
Apply lots of organic mulch around the tree on a regular basis to keep it topped up to around two inches deep to help retain water in dryer conditions and in fast-draining soil. Grass clippings and aged bark chippings are ideal for this.
To avoid mold problems, always leave a two to three-inch gap between the mulch and the tree’s trunk.
If you didn’t improve your fast-draining soil before planting your tree, you might be able to carefully add some well-rotted compost, but it’ll be tricky. Mulch will improve the soil over time, but it may take several years.
Fresh wood chippings should not be used for mulching because they pull nitrogen from the surface soil. Wood chips can be used without issue after a few months of aging, and because they decompose slowly, they are often a better long-term solution than other softer mulches.
Water on a regular basis, depending on the weather, and test the soil dampness every few days to ensure everything is in order.
Overwatering is sometimes even more difficult to correct than underwatering. If, for example, it is caused by wet weather and heavy soil rather than by you physically applying water.
If your tree became waterlogged over the winter and the roots rotted and became oxygen-starved, your chances of saving it are slim.
If it is a young tree that you only planted the previous year, you may be able to dig it up and replant it somewhere where the soil has been improved to allow for better drainage. This should be done only as a last resort. To improve drainage, replant with plenty of good quality compost or high humus soil.
Never add sand to clay soil because it will not solve the problem. It simply causes the soil to behave more like concrete.
Keep in mind that simply improving the soil in the hole you dig for the tree may not solve the problem. When it rains heavily again, the surrounding soil that you did not improve will become waterlogged again, and the hole you dug will fill with water like a swimming pool, drowning your tree.
Another option is to plant the tree in a mound made of good-quality soil. This will provide nutrients to the young roots without allowing them to become waterlogged.
A large pot is another option. Potted jujube trees can thrive, but they require careful attention to watering and feeding.
Watering can be difficult due to a variety of factors such as weather, soil type, tree age, and so on. As a result, testing the soil on a regular basis is the best solution. Always check before watering and adjust the amount of water as needed.
3. TRANSPLANTING OF JUJUBE TREE
When you plant your Jujube tree, it may suffer from transplant shock. The leaves begin to droop and then fall off. This is because the root ball was disturbed or damaged too much while you were moving the tree to its new location.
The best way to avoid transplant shock is to transplant the tree while it is dormant in the winter and to keep the roots as undisturbed as possible.
Taproot damage can cause the tree to take several years to recover, and the tree may become stunted or even die.
Transplant shock is frequently worse in older trees. Young trees of a year or less appear to suffer less and recover faster.
Transplant shock can occur when a tree is moved from a pot to the ground, from one pot to another, or by digging it up and moving it somewhere else. The latter is most likely to cause issues.
This is because when a tree is planted in the ground rather than a pot, it roots much deeper, and the chances of damaging the roots when digging it up are much higher.
Not only Jujube trees can suffer from transplant shock.
4. THE WEATHER
It is critical to grow your Jujube tree in a climate that allows it to thrive. As Jujube are heat lovers, and the fruit with only a few winter chill hours, this is in USDA hardiness zones 6 to 11. They can also withstand temperatures as low as -28°F for brief periods of time.
You may live in an appropriate hardiness zone and have high hopes for your Jujube. The problem is that we have no control over the weather, and just because the temperature isn’t supposed to rise above 100°F for weeks on end doesn’t mean it won’t.
It is also not guaranteed that just because you live in hardiness zone 6, the winter chill will not fall below -30°F. Unfortunately, the weather is becoming increasingly unpredictable. The fact that the weather is supposed to stay within a certain range does not guarantee that it will.
What to Do When It’s Hot Outside
If a heatwave is predicted, or if you live in an area where summer temperatures are extremely high, there are a few things you can do to help protect your Jujube tree.
- Apply a thick layer of organic mulch at least two inches thick, but leave a three-inch air gap around the trunk.
- This will keep moisture in and help the tree’s roots stay cool. The mulch should extend to the same length as the tree’s canopy.
- Provide some shade for your Jujube. Install a sun shade during the afternoon heat. This can be a shade sail or an umbrella.
- If your Jujube is growing in a pot, bring it inside when the weather turns hot. You’ll need to do this slowly and carefully to avoid overstressing it with a sudden temperature change.
- Water deeply and check the ground’s moisture level on a regular basis.
- Never plant a Jujube in extreme heat. The best time to plant a new tree is in early spring, when there will be plenty of rain and temperatures will be mild. Because the tree will soon enter its growth stage, it will adapt to its new environment more easily.
What to Do When It’s Cold Outside
If it gets really cold, taking some precautions could save your tree as well.
- Mulch can be extremely beneficial in the winter, just as it is in the summer. Mulch will keep the roots from freezing.
- In a mild spring, the tree may begin to bud early, only to have all of the new growth killed by a late frost. If you are concerned about this, you can cover the Jujube with a tree fleece to protect it from any late frost.
Planting or pruning trees in freezing temperatures is not recommended.
5. NUTRIENTS ARE EXTREMELY IMPORTANT FOR YOUR JUJUBE TREE
Trees, like humans, require food to grow strong and healthy. They accomplish this by drawing nutrients from the soil with their roots and producing energy through photosynthesis with their leaves.
Applying a slow-release, balanced 10:10:10 Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium (NPK) fertilizer around the tree in early spring can be beneficial.
Other mineral nutrients will benefit the tree as well, and these can be found in any high-quality fruit tree fertilizer.
You can also go the natural route and surround the tree with well-rotted compost. It naturally releases nutrients into the surrounding soil as it rots.
You’ll notice problems with your tree if you don’t provide the proper nutrients. The first sign is usually the yellowing, wilting, and dropping of the leaves. The tree may die if the problem is not addressed.
6. YOUR JUJUBE TREE AND PH
The pH of soil is somewhere between acidic and alkaline.
The type of bedrock in the area, contamination from water runoff, contamination from rain made acidic by factory gasses released into the air, organic matter, erosion, and fertilizers can all have an impact on pH.
Jujube trees can tolerate soil pH ranging from 4.5 to 8.4, with a median value of around 6.5 being ideal. They can also be grown in coastal areas because they are salt tolerant.
If your pH is more acidic or alkaline than the parameters specified, your tree will suffer. Alkalinity can be increased by adding wood ash or charcoal, while acidity can be increased by adding coffee grounds or peat moss.
Soil pH can be measured using a simple soil testing kit.
PESTS AND JUJUBE TREE DISEASE
A Jujube tree can become ill due to a variety of diseases and pests.
Fungi, on the other hand, are not a “fun guy” and can cause a slew of issues for your jujube tree. Because they are soft and sugary, with a high moisture content, fruits are particularly vulnerable to fungus attack.
Gray mold, stem rot, and anthracnose are three fungi that can cause problems.
These are exacerbated by heavy rain and high humidity, which may cause the fruits to crack and become exposed to fungal spores in the air.
Controlling fungal problems can be difficult, especially because fungicides can lose effectiveness over time. Remove and dispose of any affected fruits, leaves, or branches instead, and use chemical products only when absolutely necessary.
These small, sticky bugs appear in clusters on the undersides of leaves and feed on the plant’s sap. Before falling off, the leaves turn yellow, curl up, and die.
They can be any color, including black, yellow, and white. Treat by saturating the affected leaves with water, applying neem oil, or obtaining ladybugs.
Tent caterpillars, which are native to North America, begin hatching in March. They can be a nuisance on your fruit trees because they eat all of the fresh, young leaves.
Pesticides and parasitic wasps are both natural methods of eradication.
If left untreated, they will eat the leaves, nest, and eventually destroy the Jujube tree. They have the ability to almost completely defoliate a tree.
Why are my jujube leaves yellowing?
Plant dehydration, mineral deficiency, or herbicide uptake are the most likely causes of yellowing Jujube tree leaves.
Begin by ensuring that the tree receives adequate regular watering. If the leaves are still turning yellow after a few weeks, try finding a good fertilizer with iron, manganese, and magnesium in the ingredients and following the package instructions.
Apply organic mulch around the tree to help with water retention, weed control, and to act as a slow-release fertilizer over time.
Another possibility is that the soil is poorly draining or has a low pH. These will need to be changed in order for the tree to recover.
How Can I Revive My Dying Jujube Tree?
Begin by determining the potential source of the problem. Write down the symptoms and use the process of elimination to figure out what the problem is. If you need more assistance, look online to see which problems are the most similar to them.
You can always take a cut-off branch to your local nursery for advice as a last resort.
Water is frequently the issue, so fix it by deeply watering the Jujube tree every few days and see what happens. But first, check the soil moisture content!
If the tree is still alive (green showing just beneath the bark), it can usually be saved.
It all depends on what the exact problem is and whether or not it can be resolved in a timely manner.
- Mulch around your Jujube tree.
- Check that the tree is getting enough sunlight.
- Plant on a mound of good quality soil in heavy ground.
- Plant trees in the early spring when they are dormant.
- Remove any diseased or dead wood and, if possible, burn it to prevent further contamination.
- Make sure the tree has enough space and isn’t too close to other plants or trees.
- Check the moisture content of the soil around the tree on a regular basis and water as needed.
If there are still signs of life in your Jujube tree, it is always worth attempting to save it. If all of the green color has faded from beneath the bark, it may be too late to save the tree and it will need to be replaced.
Before you replace it, try to figure out what caused it to die so you can avoid having the same problem again.