Recovery from hail damage - Almonds
Note number: AG1446
Published: October 2011
Reviewed: August 2013
It is important to inspect damage of almond trees as soon as possible after a hail event as the level of damage can be obscured by subsequent growth. Hail can impact on the foliage, flowers, stems, branches and fruit in various ways:
- Trees can be completely stripped of leaves and fruit.
- Leaves can be bruised, torn, tattered, have holes in them or completely knocked off the plant.
- Stems and branches can be broken or bruised and scarred.
- Flowers can be damaged but it is harder to assess unless flowers have been knocked off the plant.
- Fruit can be bruised, have chunks of flesh removed or be knocked to the ground.
- Trees can be misshapen by broken limbs and may need retraining.
- Pests and diseases can enter almonds and bark through wounds caused by hail.
Those with hail damage insurance should contact their insurer and arrange for damage assessment.
Management of hail-damaged trees
- Hail wounds on the almonds and bark may need a fungicide to prevent pest and disease entry.
- Wounds are a key infection site for disease, and particularly bacterial diseases.
- Severely damaged stems and branches should be pruned off as soon as possible to prevent infections. Stems of branches should be sealed to protect against infection.
- Replacement of young trees may be necessary if damage to the plants is severe enough.
- Fertilizers and irrigation applied at optimum levels will help the trees overcome the stress caused by the hail damage.
- Inspect damaged plants more frequently for pests and diseases.
- Where practical, large wounds on trunks and branches should be covered with a water-based paint to avoid desiccation and disease infection.
- Summer pruning may be necessary to retrain young trees and optimise new growth.
Horiculture Industry Network Resources
This water budget spread sheet will assist horticultural growers of stone fruit (tree fruit) budget water use over the season, taking into account rainfall, irrigations and regulated deficit irrigation.
Correct diagnosis is essential for effective pest and disease control. A commercial diagnostic service is available at Agribio in Bundoora.
For further information, contact:
Crop Health Services
Phone: (03) 9032 7000
Fax: (03) 9032 7058