The Q&A Archives: Spots on Crabapple Leaves

Question: I have two dolgo crabapple and two eleyi crabapple trees in my yard. Each spring the trees are beautiful with their white (dolgos) and pink (eleyi) flowers. However, after the petals drop the eleyi always seem to get small reddish yellowish spots on the leaves. The leaves soon fall from the tree and it looks sickly the rest of the year. The dolgos, which are planted about ten feet away, are never affected. How can I treat these spots?

Answer: As you have noticed, some crabapple varieties have better resistance than others to certain foliage problems but unfortunately many crabapple varieties are susceptible to the same foliage problems that attack regular apples. Often these must be treated with an annual spray program which is dictated in part by weather conditions each year. You might wish to contact your County Extension (683-0110) for both a positive identification of the problem and the most up-to-date control recommendations along with the suggested timing for any necessary spray applications. In the meantime, it is a good idea to clean up and remove and destroy any fallen leaves from the affected trees to help reduce reinfection. Good luck with your trees!

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