Problem with crabapple tree leaves - Knowledgebase Question

Redford, Mi
Avatar for wolfdance
Question by wolfdance
July 10, 2010
My crabapple tree, about 8 feet tall, about 6-8 years old, is a volunteer from my neighbors 2 old healthy crabapples. The leaves on mine have holes & are turning brown. It looked fine this spring, bloomed beautifully. It had the same problem last year, but not as bad. Any idea what's going on & what the (cheap!) solution is? I live in SE Michigan. Thank you so much!

Answer from NGA
July 10, 2010
Crabapple trees are susceptible to fungal diseases which can cause spots and browning of the leaves. The spots can fall out of the leaves and leave holes. Insects can also cause holes in the leaves which is what makes diagnosing this problem so difficult. I'm more inclined to think the cause is a fungal disease such as scab. Like apple trees, crabapple trees should be protected from fungal diseases in the early spring, just as the leaves are beginning to emerge. This year you can rake up the fallen leaves to remove them and their fungal spores from the landscape. Early next spring you can spray with a fruit tree fungicide, reapplying the fungicide every 7-10 days until the leaves are completely unfurled. Follow the spray schedule on the label and by this time next summer your crabapple tree should be full of healthy leaves. Best wishes with your landscape.

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