Black Rot/Fire Blight on Apple Trees?
Hello, We recently acquired a small orchard and have been trying our best to manage it organically. We use Neem oil for pests throughout the growing season and during spring. We have maybe three trees with a few more serious issues and I was wondering if you could provide any advice on how best to manage them. One problem is peeling bark, down to the wood, not on the whole trunk/branches, but localized. It appears that a tiny black bug or larvae is the culprit and I have sprayed neem in the hopes it will take care of them. The second one is one specific tree which lost a limb last year due to the weight of too much fruit. We pruned this back, but after this recent snow, a foot long section of the main trunk suddenly turned black. I thought fire blight, but reading about that says it is more likely when temperatures are above 65 F and right now it's still winter. Could it be black rot canker? And, if this is the case, should we remove the tree asap, or is it something that can be managed with copper or another minimally impactful spray? If we manage the black rot, will it always be liable to spread to adjacent trees? Any help would be much appreciated.
Lane County Oregon apple trees