The Q&A Archives: Apple Trees

Question: My apple trees again seem like they will not produce any fruit, the apples are there, but they are beginning to have spots on them... is there anything I can still do this late in the growing season... please help me out... thanks...

Answer: It sounds like apple scab and once you see the spots on the fruit, the disease is already fully developed. Apple scab also causes leaf spots. Scab first develops in early spring as circular, olive-green spots with a velvety texture. Scab lesions can appear on the upper and lower surfaces of leaves and on the fruit. The spots turn dark green or brown with a rough, scaly texture. The fungus only colonizes the surface, so lightly blemished fruit can still be eaten if you simply cut off the scabby part.

For scab, the key time for fungicide management is in the spring when new infections are occurring. Several captan, myclobutanil, and ?multi-purpose? sprays are available for homeowners. Be sure to check information on the labels. The scab pathogen survives the winter in infected leaves, so with a manageable amount of trees it is possible to reduce the pathogen population for the next spring by raking up and removing leaves from under the trees.

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