The Q&A Archives: Apple & Pear Trees

Question: If you aren't able to help me, maybe you can direct me to some one can. Thank you.
I have 3 Apple Trees and 1 Pear Tree. The fruit is very tasty considering:
Apples are small, deformed looking, with bug holes on the majority of them although seems to be a sort of bug, but I don't see any.
Pears are the same as listed for the Apples.
Apple Trees are in a row about 5' apart.
Pear Tree is about 50' away from Apple Trees.
Apple Tree are about 15' tall.
Pear Tree 30' - 40' tall.
Don't know age due to moved-in last December (Maine Winter).

Answer: Without seeing the fruit, I'm only offering an educated opinion, but it sounds as though both your apple and your pear trees have a disease called scab. It's a fungal disease and you'll typically see some off-coloring on the foliage - a velvety olive-green coloration - early in the season. You'll then see black specks on the fruit. Late in the season the spots will become hard and calloused. Distortion of fruit is also common.

Because the scab fungus overwinters in fallen leaves, the disease can be partially controlled by raking and burning. However, fungicide sprays usually provide the only practical means of scab control.

Correct spray timing during the primary scab cycle lessens the need for extensive fungicide applications during the later stages of disease development. The critical period for scab control is from the beginning of bud growth until the apples are 1/2 inch (1.27 cm) in diameter.

You can use lime-sulfur (called Bordeaux Spray) or any of the fungicides formulated for fruit trees your garden center carries. Be sure to apply according to label directions.

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