Potted Almond Trees Are Dropping Leaves And Have Cobweb Like Covering

Question From: Meadview, Arizona, United States
Q: I am trying to grow two almond trees, this is their second summer in Arizona. They are still potted and kept on our back porch. I am truly hoping to transplant to the yard this fall. I have had many issues with my trees. They have gotten sick, dropped their leaves. I have had a cobweb like material encase different areas on the branches. I can't see any bugs. I clean off the leaves, then they drop because they are all dried out. I sprayed the leaves with soapy water with some apple cider vinegar in it. That made things worse as far as I am concerned. I am at a loss, hoping that transplanting them with give them a better chance. If you have any suggestions it would be helpful.

A: I do not have any experience growing almond trees as I dig in Michigan. Sounds like your trees may have water issues. The webs may be spider mites. Hold a white piece of paper under the tree canopy and shake the leaves. You should see tiny dark dots. Those are the mites. A strong spray of water will knock them off. You should repeat this every 3 to 5 days until you see so more bugs. Neem oil would be a good choice to use as an insecticide. Spray in the evening so as not to burn the leaves. Be sure to spray the undersides of the leaves. Also clean up any leaves that have dropped. Do not fertilize them until next March. Then I would use a fish and kelp fertilizer such as Neptune's Harvest. Good Luck and Happy Yardening, Nancy