Dealing with Sooty Blotch and Flyspeck
My dad has a couple of apple trees and every year the apples develop sooty blotch and fly speck. I know these are surface fungi and aren't supposed to effect the quality of the fruit but it's not appetizing. Right now the apples growing on the trees look nice and show no signs of SBFS but like every other year we expect to see it soon. We've never sprayed anything on these trees so this year we want to spray some type of fungicide to see if we can improve the apple harvest.
Are the fungicide products at local big box stores acceptable for this and if so what is the best method of spraying the tree? Should we buy a concentrate and use it in a pump style sprayer? Do we spray each individual fruit or the entire tree? How often do we apply?
The trees have been neglected and need major pruning which I'm sure is a large reason as to why the fruits develop SBFS (lack of light penetration). We plan to prune the trees and do some top working this winter but for now we have to deal with what we have.