Original Agriculture Victoria 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.

Contact / Services available

Correct diagnosis is essential for effective pest and disease control. A commercial diagnostic service is available. For further information, phone Crop Health Services on (03) 9032 7515 or fax (03) 9032 7604.

AgriBio Specimen Reception
Main Loading Dock
5 Ring Road
La Trobe University
Bundoora VIC 3083

The advice provided in this publication is intended as a source of information only. Always read the label before using any of the products mentioned. The State of Victoria and its employees do not guarantee that the publication is without flaw of any kind or is wholly appropriate for your particular purposes and therefore disclaims all liability for any error, loss or other consequence which may arise from you relying on any information in this publication