Answer: If the leaves have brown blotches, then curl up and die, I'd suspect the fungal disease called apple scab. The fungus overwinters on dead leaves and fallen fruit, so first order of business is to keep debris cleaned up in the garden. Some cultivars are resistant to scab, including Akane, Chehalis, Liberty and Jonagold, so grow those varietiesif you can. The key to successfully controlling scab is to apply fungicides early and thoroughly to protect new growth. Use a wettable sulfur solution or a Bordeaux (lime-sulfur) spray as soon as the cluster buds develop, again at pre-pink, pink, and after petals fall. Avoid spraying when trees are in full bloom. Fruit trees certainly require a great deal of care to produce disease-free fruit!
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