I have been receiving a few questions regarding the symptoms of salt burn versus almond leaf scorch. Below are a few pictures to help with the differentiation.
Figure 1: From a distance, an almond tree affected by sodium/chloride toxicity or almond leaf scorch can look similar. Key differences: salt burn will be uniform across the field while almond leaf scorch generally tends to be random across the field.
Figure 2 and 3: Almond leaves showing symptoms of infection by the almond leaf scorch pathogen, Xylella fastidiosa. Note that the brown area is not isolated to just the tip, tends to be irregular and will extend up the side of the leaf. A yellow halo is also predominant around the edge of the lesion.
Figure 4 and 5: Almond leaves affected by salt burn. Affected areas are brown and tend to be isolated to the tips of the leaves. Over time, the area may extend further up the leaf with the entire leaf being brown and crispy. A yellow halo is not as prevalent with salt burn.
If suspecting leaf scorch, it is important to conduct a leaf analysis to rule out salinity. If the analysis shows low sodium and chloride and symptoms are present, a test for almond leaf scorch can be conducted through your local farm advisor.
Below are some links for almond leaf scorch publications and articles:
An Article on Salt Burn: