Apple tree diseases

andy_levineJune 26, 2009

I have four old apple trees at out home we purchased late last summer. In the last 2-3 weeks, it seems they have all contracted some disease

All the leaves across two of the trees have small bright yellow bumpy spots over 55-65% of the leaf. I have pictures, but cant figure out how to post them to this forum. Here is a link to one on another site:

From Apple tree problems From Apple tree problems

On one of the trees I noticed a completely dead branch with wilted brown leaves that looked entirely dead and covered in spider webs. From Apple tree problems

The trees had been fruiting in the spring and we had sprayed a general fungicide and insecticide in March and April but nothing since.

All four trees underwent a very large pruning in March as they had not been trimmed in 5-6 years and had gotten unwieldy.

Any help appreciated.

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Please tell us where you are located. It may be helpful to people trying to help you.

Your tree is suffering from a severe infection of cedar apple rust, a disease that must be dealt with early in the season with specific fungicides. Please tell us what fungicide and insecticide you used. "General" is not an adequate description. I use a fungicide called Ferbam for CAR, and apply it during the months of March and April, when the galls burst on eastern red cedars (Juniperis Virginiana), releasing the CAR spores into the air. They are carried by windy, rainy spring conditions. Another fungicide effective on this disease is the systemic called Immunox, made by Spectracide. Chemically, it is myclobutanil.

Given the advanced stage of the season and the development of the disease on your trees, there is little you can do about this disease now. CAR must be dealt with before the spores arrive on the tree. But it will not kill your tree, and you now know to be ready for it next season.

The apparently dead branch surrounded by cobwebs is a case of bagworms, also called tent caterpillars. I see no living caterpillars in the photo, so they must have matured and moved on. Many commonly available insecticides will kill tent caterpillars, and you can also manually remove the cobweb surrounding the branch. That branch will recover and leaf out next spring or you can prune if off, but next season be watchful and ready for this insect. Overwintering tent caterpillar eggs appear as brown rings around small branches that can be spotted and removed during the dormant season.

Your apples also show some insect damage that can be dealt with by regular use of a more effective insecticide, or by bagging the apples in ziploc sandwich bags while they are still small. I install hundreds of bags on apples each season, and at the moment am up to 1,250. Installation is tedious work, but it eliminates the need for further spraying right up to harvest.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 3:38PM
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glenn_russell(6b RI)

Hi Andy_levine-
I wrote an email just like yours a few years ago, and it was Don who came to my rescue. The Ferbam is quite difficult to find/obtain. But, Immunox is relatively easy. I've provided a link below where I got mine. Make sure NOT to get the Immunox Plus which contains an insecticide not rated for fruit. Harvestman recommends controlling CAR with just 2 sprays: One at petal fall, and one 10-14 day later. I did basically that this season, and I don't have a speck of CAR anywhere on my property this year. In years past, my trees looked much like yours. Good luck! -Glenn

Here is a link that might be useful: Bic Superstore Immunox

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 4:03PM
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Thanks for your quick reply...breathing a sigh of relief I haven't killed my trees. I lost a plum tree to a storm last week, my fig trees to frost (though the are making a comeback) and all my cherries cracked due to the abundance of rain recently. I don't think I could have dealt with another failure :)

To answer some of your questions:

1) Location: Brookeville, MD - between Baltimore and DC closer to DC

2) Fungicide/insecticide used: Bonide Fruit Tree Spray. Active ingredients: Captan, Malathion, Carbaryl. I also sprayed an Oil spray on the tree very early in the season.

I am very surprised to hear that this must be dealt with early in the season. While the tree may have an advanced case, it came on VERY quickly. I had thought within the last 2 weeks, my son thinks within the last week. We had NO sign before i went out looking today.

I love the idea of "bagging" the apples, as I really wanted to get away from too many sprays. I'm no health or enivro-nut, but the less chemicals the better. If they could figure out how to slice them while on the trees, we could have SnackBags of apple to pick :)

Glenn, Thanks for the pointers as to where to get these chemicals. Glad to hear its easy to control once you know what it is.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 5:28PM
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glenn_russell(6b RI)

Hi Andy_Levine- Good to hear back from you. As many people here know, I'm on a bit of a crusade these days to steer people away from the Bonide Fruit Tree Spray. When I first started coming to this forum, people told me to stay away from it, but I didnÂt understand why, nor what the alternatives were.

1.) The part that IÂm most mad about is that they say it works on CAR, when its active ingredients are ineffective on CAR. I know people who sprayed this stuff 15 times in a season attempting to fight CAR when thereÂs no way it ever could. Many a people have lost a lot of time, money, and tree due to this blatant mislabeling IMHO.
2.) Because itÂs a combination spray, itÂs having you spray other chemicals that you donÂt need. ItÂs much better and more effective to target your individual pests and diseases.
3.) The ingredients that it does have are not present in sufficient quantities to be effective anyway. (This from other experts, like Don, here on this forum)

The only thing I wonder if itÂs effective (for me anyway) on is for that time when the apples first start to form, until they are bagged. It may be protecting me at that time, but even with that, the jury is still out and itÂs debatable. (IÂve just purchased some Permethrin to take over that role) My advice to you would be to throw that crap away. Then, pay close attention to your trees. And, when you see something that you donÂt like, and donÂt understand, do some research, and come to this forum and ask questions. Many people here are happy to help.

Yeah, itÂs funny how early the sprays happen. You look at the tree during bloom time and it looks so beautiful and peaceful. ItÂs hard to believe that this is the time when some of the serious diseases are just starting to get going. By the time we actually see the damaged caused by the diseases, itÂs usually too late to do anything about it. ItÂs actually nice that it works out this way it means that if youÂre willing to bag your apples, youÂre not doing any sprays when there are actually apples on the tree. That makes me feel safer about the spraying.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 8:25PM
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mjmarco(Zone 6 Upstate NY)

I'm in upstae NY and have for last 5 years used Bonide fruit spray to get rid of PC and CAR (as the lable states)but my trees look just like the pictures above minus the spider web.
Each year I talk to the person at the farm market and this year he said did you spray before bloom for both, which I did this year only to have more apples fall off and all apples have CAR or PC bites on them.

I read alot that Don Yellman has written about it which I wish I found this web site long ago and will try a different spray for CAR and PC. It looks like I won't get apples again this year. Thanks again for all your info .

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 1:36PM
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glenn_russell(6b RI)

Right. It happened to you, it happened to me, it happened to my friend with his orchard, and the story repeats itself all the time here on this forum. Now, go educate that person at the farm market, will ya?!?! He's lead enough people astray.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 4:45PM
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I have 2 apple tree that are about 2 yrs old. I noticed that alot of the leaves have got lots of tiny holes in them and they are turning brown. I am in central NC. Don't see any bugs on the leaves that might be eating the leaves. How old do the trees have to be to produce fruit?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 4:50PM
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