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Apple trees and diseases

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  • Apple trees and diseases

    I have three trees that are around 15 years old and over the past few years disease has become a problem. It began with scab, which I had to resort to spraying to control, now canker has joined in too. So as you can no longer buy spray for scab and the trees look poor, they are coming out and being burnt.
    Looking at replacements for a different part of the garden I am disappointed to see that trees prone to scab are still being sold in my local GC's despite them telling me that I should buy plants more tolerant, for some who may be unaware of the problem, they are being fleeced of their money in my opinion.
    I plan to buy newer varieties, bred specifically to resist the scab and hope I have more luck second time around.

  • #2
    A lot of problems with the diseases on apples you mention are due to the growing conditions as opposed to the specific varieties grown. Even a susceptible variety if grown on a dry hillside with 10' space (that's a 10' branch to branch gap not trunk to trunk) between it and the next nearest tree will grow away fine and disease free, especially if given reasonable amounts of fertiliser or manure in its early years.

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    • #3
      My trees are in the best conditions I can give them, a large wall does restrict the wind flow in the south east, first 10 years they were ok, then the a wet summer seemed to bring on the scab and it's never left. They were top dressed each year and the growth is quite good, just the crop is suffering, the James Grieve is the worst affected.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by burnie View Post
        My trees are in the best conditions I can give them, a large wall does restrict the wind flow in the south east, first 10 years they were ok, then the a wet summer seemed to bring on the scab and it's never left. They were top dressed each year and the growth is quite good, just the crop is suffering, the James Grieve is the worst affected.
        Hi Burnie ,
        not suggesting you've done anything wrong and certainly weather conditions play a part, but most of us don't have open south facing fields with good rich loam to plant our fruit trees in sadly - so as we make do with the conditions in the gardens we do have, mostly a lot of problems simply come from the lack of air and light due to surrounding buildings, other trees etc - the further the site one is planting a fruit tree in diverges from the ideal, the more likely problems are particularly in damp years.

        I'm lucky enough to have a large garden which faces south for the most part but even so I find I do get a few disease problems particularly on the Coxes which are fussy buggers by nature - OTH I can grow decent apples some years and as its not my living if things go wrong I tend to go for varieties I like rather than the most disease resistant ones.

        All the best Nick

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