Three Things You Need To Know About Apple Scab Disease


There are many fungal diseases that can destroy your backyard fruit trees, including apple scab disease. Here are three things you need to know about apple scab disease.

How do trees get apple scab disease?

Apple scab disease is caused by the Venturia inaequalis fungus. The arrival of warmer temperatures and rainy weather in the spring releases the fungal spores from the ground, and when they rise into the air, they can land on the surface of trees. The spores then germinate and begin to spread through the tree.

What happens to infected trees?

If your apple trees get infected, you'll see brown spots on the edges of their leaves. The leaves may fall off, and when the apples appear, they will also have spots. In minor cases, the spots are just unsightly blemishes on otherwise edible apples, but in more serious cases, the spots can make the apples break apart as they grow. Since apple scab disease can kill trees that are infected, it's best to keep your trees from getting infected in the first place.

How can you prevent apple scab disease?

In the autumn, when your fruit trees shed their leaves, make sure to rake the leaves promptly. This is important because the apple scab fungi are present on the leaves of infected trees, and if the leaves aren't raked, the fungi will return to the soil where they will spend the winter. The following spring, the fungi will be reactivated. Break this cycle by raking and disposing of all the leaves on your property.

Have your apple trees sprayed with fungicides before they get infected with apple scab. The first treatment should be done in the early spring, before the fungi have gotten a chance to infect any trees. This treatment will need to be repeated every seven to 10 days until first cover. At that point, the treatment will be done less frequently—every 10 to 14 days—until late summer.

Planting apple tree varieties that are resistant to apple scab disease is another way to prevent problems. Some popular varieties, like Empire or Cortland apples, are susceptible to apple scab disease, while varieties like Jonafree, Liberty and Sundance are resistant to the disease. Your arborist can recommend the best type of apple tree for your backyard.

If you're worried that the apples trees in your backyard have apple scab disease, consult with a professional arborist like one from TimberMen Tree Service right away.


27 July 2016

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