I have a fruit cocktail tree that I planted on 1 June 2013, around 9 to 10 weeks ago, and one of the 3 grafted branches appears to have died. The tree originated from Dave Wilson Nursery. Here is an image of what it looks like now:

enter image description here

You can see that the left branch that is sticking out has no leaves on it. This happened in the last 2 weeks. The tree is a cocktail of Apricot/Nectarine/Peach.

Has this branch died for good or is there a chance that it will recover? Will this branch dying have any impact on the other branches? What could have caused one of the branches to die (the other two branches have new growth).

  • I asked this follow up question, which may also be helpful gardening.stackexchange.com/questions/8123/…
    – going
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 0:15
  • 1
    For those interested, in the spring of 2014 that "dead" graft came back to life and was the most vigorous growing graft on the tree that year.
    – Guy
    Commented Dec 21, 2014 at 21:38
  • 1
    I know I found this a bit late, but thanks for the update. I wonder so often how things are doing, and always appreciate if people come back with new reports. I hope you still have it, and that it's still healthy and happy! Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 23:26
  • It's the most productive scion on the tree. Produced around 75 apricots this year.
    – Guy
    Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 20:06
  • Glad to read that graft came back to life!
    – elrobis
    Commented Jun 19, 2019 at 15:43

2 Answers 2


The graft that dropped its leaves would be the apricot part, as nectarine and peach leaves look the same, and that's what's on those other two branches.

I see from your comment:

For those interested, in the spring of 2014 that "dead" graft came back to life and was the most vigorous growing graft on the tree that year.

that the branch was alive. In the future, if something like that happens, you can tell whether it's alive or dead without a scratch test, by looking at the stems. They should be flexible, round, smooth, and pinkish/greenish. If they appear shriveled, or are dull brown and stiff (no longer flexible), then it's dead.

As to why the branch dropped its leaves, there could be a lot of causes, the most common of which being (in hot dry climates) warm dry air. There are times when the moisture is pulled from the leaves faster than it can replenish it (even when irrigated), and the natural response to that in some tree species is to go into a dormancy, and drop the leaves until the conditions improve.

Apparently the apricot was more sensitive to whatever caused the leaf drop than the peach/nectarine branches were. The nice thing is that once the tree gets established, it will better handle these situations, and will be a lot less likely to drop leaves on you again.


I love to watch Tom Spellman with Dave Wilson Nursey on youtube. He knows his stuff! Therefore, I would contact him and ask these questions. You may even get a new tree out of it. http://www.davewilson.com/retail-nurseries/contact-us

Here's a collection of his videos http://www.youtube.com/user/DaveWilsonTrees/videos

Here's how they graft the trees http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTtXmBVsolY

Here's the follow up http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjb4N83YG5k

I'm guessing something went wrong with the graft on that branch. No one is going to know more about it than Tom.

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