Apple tree problem

Asked June 10, 2019, 10:28 AM EDT

Hi. We planted 12 heirloom apple trees three summers ago, and we've kept the bugs and cedar apple rust under control in past years, but haven't sprayed anything yet this year. I'll spray this coming week after the rain finishes for those things. (I spray everything for the rust - which is pervasive - and spot spray where I find insect problems.) Today I noticed a browning of leaf tips on numerous trees that I have not seen before. We've been about a week without significant rain, but I think the trees (on their third summer) are advanced enough it's probably not that they are too dry (and the leaves not browning look perky and not wilted), so I'm thinking it's some kind of fungus. Can you tell me what it is? If you could recommend organic and non-organic solutions, that would be great! (I usually try the organic first, then the non if it doesn't work.) Thank you!

Frederick County Maryland

2 Responses

Hi- thanks for the great photos. We do see a few small rust lesions getting started and understand you spray for rust in the spring. The dramatic leaf browning symptoms are not caused by disease. You can uncurl the leaves and look closely for signs of insects but we don't think that's the problem either.

The symptoms seem to be restricted to the new growth. We think it could be a combination of low soil moisture and windy weather on this exposed site. Keep the root systems well-watered if rainfall is lacking and monitor the trees closely. Let us know if symptoms worsen or you see new symptoms.

Low soil moisture I can fix - this is great news.
Thank you very much!