The 6 Most Common Apple Tree Diseases and How to Prevent Them
Apple trees can struggle with numerous diseases, but don't let that stop you from planting and enjoying these productive fruit trees right in your backyard. While apples are attacked by a variety of bacteria and fungi, there are 6 common culprits that do most of the damage. A few easy tactics will help you combat these apple tree diseases to ensure you get a bountiful harvest. The first step in the fight for fruit begins with identifying the tree disease you are dealing with. Check out the 6 profiles below to determine what disease might be attacking your tree. Then you can take the right steps to get rid of it. And before you know it, you'll be biting into a homegrown apple.
Apples harvested from backyard trees rarely resemble their grocery store counterparts. Expect homegrown fruit to have a few blemishes and sport some odd shapes. A wide variety of fruit sizes and unique color combinations are common too. Apples you grow yourself may look far from perfect, but their flavor more than makes up for this fact. Take a bite of a freshly picked apple and you'll quickly taste the difference between it and a grocery store apple.
Plant Disease-Resistant Apple Cultivars
The easiest way to grow bushels of delicious apples without having to use pesticide sprays is to plant disease-resistant cultivars. Cornell University developed a helpful ranking of apple disease susceptibility so you can consider your best options at a glance. Dr. Suzanne Slack, an Extension fruit crops specialist at Iowa State University, considers resistant cultivars the very best tactic for reducing apple disease. Her favorite disease-resistant apple cultivars include 'Crimson Crisp', 'Enterprise', 'Galarina', 'Goldrush', 'Liberty', 'Pristine', and 'Redfree'.
Common Apple Tree Diseases
There are 6 "major players" when it comes apple diseases, says Slack. Known to greatly reduce or even eliminate a harvest and weaken the tree, these diseases make apple growing a challenge. When disease does take hold, identify it early to slow the spread. And remember, plant resistant cultivars to reduce disease in general.