Too much water or too little?


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I had a Cleveland Pear tree put in my front yard a few weeks ago. I have clay soil, and I've been watering twice a week with in-ground sprinkler system. When it was first planted I soaked it. I also soaked it once about a week ago. The tree is mulched, and I frequently check the soil and it feels somewhat damp. But the leaves are turning brown and falling off. Can anyone tell from the pictures whether it's getting too much or too little water?

Please help
 

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Please tell us where you are, state and area of state and zone if you know it. That would be a great help in deciding what is going on with your pear.
Most plants go through transplant shock (being moved from one environment to another) and that may be the problem. However, planting a fruit tree in full summer is problematic. Most fruit trees are planted when dormant which is winter here in zone 8, or in very early spring in other cooler zones.
Your problem may not be water. Deep watering is preferable to sprinkling frequently--deep watering encourages deep root growth. Give us a bit more information and we may be able to help.
 

MaryMary

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I agree with marlingardener, more info is necessary.

Without knowing that, has it rained in your area? Are you adding water on top of the water nature has provided?

From reading your post - you watered deeply when you planted it (a few weeks ago,) have watered it twice a week since then, and watered it deeply again a week ago? And it is in clay soil, has mulch, and the soil feels damp? My bet is too much water.
 
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Another guess for too much water but that really does depend on your location and/or growing zone.

Clay soil + sprinkling twice a week + weekly deep soakings seems like an awful lot of watering to me especially since you're mulching. (Which is a good thing!) Very few plants benefit from being constantly damp; they need to dry out completely between waterings or the roots rot. To the point of getting crispy and wilting really. Crispy and wilting is not a bad thing. It's a natural response to heat.
 
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Please show pictures of the root flair.

Trees need less frequent waterings than plants. You should water deeply once every 2 weeks for now.
 
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This is a tricky situation because lack of water or an excess of it can result in yellowing of leaves. Lack of water results in wilting which is rapidly followed by drying. On the other hand, excess water can result in the suffocation of the roots due to anaerobic conditions which favour bacteria. The best thing to do is to select two plants one excessively watered and the other one exposed to deficient water conditions. The third should be the control and from there, make your own deductions.
 
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