Bark shedding on state fair trees

Asked April 5, 2019, 3:52 PM EDT

Bark is shedding on my state fair apple trees. None of my other varieties are having this problem - zestar, prairie magic, frostbit, honey crisp. What’s causing this? Will the trees survive? The branches aren’t dead and are beginning to bud.

Anoka County Minnesota

3 Responses

Apple trees do not normally shed bark. It is a sign of an injury or insects. We need more information on the tree...age, location, any injury or sunscald. We also need some good photos.

The tree is about 5 years old. It is planted in well-drained sandy loam soil. The tree is about 7 ft high. None of the other apple trees, other than the state fair, show any signs of sunscald. Could this be fire blight?

I can't tell for sure but it could be fireblight. The sure sign of it is a shepard's crook at the end of each branch. Even infected branches will leaf our using stored energy. They die off later. I am giving you a link to a diagnostic page on apple tree diseases but if I were my tree I would take it down before the others are infected. Whatever you do, do not prune that tree and then use your pruners on other trees until they have been disinfected. I also am giving you a link to a web site where you can find a certified arborist to come out and make an on-site diagnosis.