Quince rot and insect damage

Morenito(2)March 31, 2013

Hi everyone,

My young 3-year old tree is under a lot of attack and is under a lot of stress. Does anyone know about quince fruit problems?

I have the usual pear and cherry slug, which I dusted with wood ash, and since squash whatever I can find on the leaves.

My biggest problem is that much of my fruit is being ruined on the tree, and falling off prematurely due to some form of rot as well as insect damage.

Here are my descriptions - I hope you can advise (photos just uploaded on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/79929279@N03/):

⢠Some fruit show a depressed, dark area of rot (no signs of insect entry);

⢠Some fruit show soft rot in a large circle with dry, brown centre area;

⢠Some fruit show irregular shaped soft rot with 1mm insect holes (either the insects caused the rot or they found an easy way of getting in through the rot);

⢠Some fruit are very gnarled and misshapen and with 1mm insect entry holes, some of which have insect poo on the outside edges of the holes.

Thanks for your help.

Here is a link that might be useful: Photos of the damaged quinces

This post was edited by Morenito on Mon, Apr 1, 13 at 6:38

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ACT = Australian Capital Territory, near Canberra

Quince fruit is susceptible to brown rot, it occurs more often in humid, damp conditions. The rot can form around a small injury but most often along cracks.

The misshapen fruit was likely not pollenized evenly, a small percentage of fruit does this naturally.

Not familiar with your local insects.

How large does the fruit get on average when it falls? Is it turning color or is it totally green? Is the foliage healthy?

You may need to bag individual fruits to fend off insects.

And you can't expect a lot from a 3-year-old quince tree. If you are losing a high percentage of hundreds of fruits from a more mature tree, that is a problem.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 11:34PM
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Thanks Larry,
I'm in Canberra. I did notice some tiny little black beetles crawling around some of the fallen fruit.

Some of the fruit fell off when only the size of small lemons, but now they're very big and fill my palm, and still developing rot and falling. They're still mainly green, but I can see a feint yellow colour developing, and I can even detect the early stages of perfume from the fruit.

The foliage is generally healthy except for the skeletonised damage from the pear/cherry slug, which is rather widespread on this tree, despite my ash shower and occasional finger squashing.

I think you're right about it being Brown Rot. Is there an organic solution to this?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 5:27AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

The misshapen fruits primarily are caused by the plum curculio. Those may also be the little beetles you see. They deform the fruit but you don't see the entry until you cut it open. So, I think you have a bad curculio problem. You should check to see if this bug is a problem in Australia, I expect its found its way there by now but maybe not.

The frass holes are usually caused by codling moth. Quince don't get brown rot badly if they are not bug infested, but the bugs make holes which let diseases in.

The primary organic control for the bug problems is Surround, it is kaolin clay. Here in the states its sold as Surround WP, not sure about down under.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 9:20AM
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Thanks Scott,

I'll scout around for Surround or its equivalent. I did once notice a single grey beetle, but not near the tree, so I thought nothing of it. The beetles I saw crawling around on the fallen fruit were much smaller - only about 2mm in length - and shiny black. But they may have just been ground scavengers along with the slugs, and unrelated to the problem.

If I need to treat for brown rot too, what's the organic solution?

I'm wondering if it's worth it for a couple of bowls of fruit once a year...


    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 7:16PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I never saw any brown rot on my undamaged quince. The best organic brown rot spray is probably sulphur; its not super effective so regular sprays are needed, in particular it needs to go on before rain with a sticker.

Just be lucky you don't have fireblight or quince rust yet, those are the real deal-breakers. My quince were turned into firewood several years ago.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 9:39PM
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My quince brown rot takes about 5% of the crop, so I've never checked into it. Just looked at your photos and they look like the typical array of quince problems.

Any chance a bird is pecking at some fruits? Humidity or rain cracks usually start at stem or blossom end and run longitudinally.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 10:53PM
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