What causes my apples to get "sunburned"?

Asked August 23, 2020, 12:35 PM EDT

I have a red delicious apple tree. Good crop this year, but several of the apples appear to be getting sunburned...turning orange on the surface exposed to the sun. Is this sun related? If not, what is the cause? Will it affect the flavor or texture of the fruit?

Washington County Oregon

4 Responses

Thank you for contacting us. Can you please send a digital photo of the entire tree as well as a close-up photo of the discolored apples? Also, which direction do the discolored apples face?

I would say most of this discoloring is facing SW.

The tree... light is not great right now... it has been orchard pruned in past but is a little out of shape right now

Sunburn happens.

The cause of sunburned fruit is too little leaf cover during a time of hot dry weather and cloudless skies. Then too, the winds during those hot periods can expose the fruits long enough to damage them.

Even though your tree looks to have plenty of leaves, a few of the apples are partially exposed to the bright sunlight. Typically such fruit are on the south or southwest sides of the tree.

The damaged fruit won't store well so it's wise to eat those first. Depending upon the extent of the damage, you may need to trim off the sunburned area.