Fruit tree diseases

Asked September 19, 2016, 1:13 PM EDT

What can be done to help different fruit trees resist different diseases? For example, cherry trees seem to develop some kind of rot, plum and peach trees develop brown spots on the fruits, and apple trees develop the black spots on the fruits. I understand these things might not affect production so much, but can anything be done to prevent these diseases from showing up, but if already present, help control their spread?

Harford County Maryland

1 Response

The best recommendation is to plant disease resistant varieties if possible. See our publication 'Getting Started With Tree Fruits' for recommended varieties.
Fruit trees are susceptible to insect and disease issues and eventually require a spray schedule for control in the spring and throughout the growing season. A large number of problems may be cultural and environmental too. You will have to identify what you are dealing with.
Tree fruits, especially apple and peach, are more prone to diseases and insect pests than small fruits. Fig, Asian pear and Japanese persimmon are the tree fruits with the fewest pest problems.
In general, Cherries, peaches, and plums are susceptible to brown rot. Apples are susceptible to various fungal and bacterial diseases.
Once the trees are infected, all you can do is keep weeds down to remove habitat for pests, don't allow fruit to become overripe, and regularly remove and discard all diseased or infested plant parts, including leaves and fruits on the ground.
See our website for more information