Whats wrong with my Apples

Asked September 15, 2015, 8:00 PM EDT

I planted an apple tree about 15 years ago and every year it has this same problem. I do not spray so I am sure that is the root of the problem. Can you identify this disease and suggest an organic solution that might not be perfect but would improve the situation. Also the apples are very sweet if I ignore the skin. Does it hurt to eat these apples if peeled?

Queen Anne's County Maryland

1 Response

These are two fungi known as flyspeck (the spots) and sooty blotch (the black smudges). Both of these fungi can be washed off. Soak and scrub off-- or just peel the apples. Fortunately, they don’t affect eating quality and the apple flesh is perfectly safe to eat.

.Some cultural practices may help prevent and/or reduce the severity of sooty blotch and flyspeck. These include dormant and summer pruning to open up the tree canopy and thinning to separate fruit clusters which will facilitate the drying of fruit after rain or dew. Both diseases are difficult to control in apple trees and pear trees with restricted air movement. Finally, in July you can apply a fungicide labeled for control of these fungi.