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An apple tree disease.


By kasy


It is rather a question and I wonder if someone would be able to identify the problem for me.
Since I have few pictures to show I decided to write a blog.
So the story is: I was asked to prune an apple tree in one of the gardens I am taking care of.
I was passing by this fruit tree few times but never really had a chance to take closer look a this.
The tree itself didn’t look very healthy – had to start cutting of one thick branch which wasn’t producing any new growth any more.
There were plenty of branches looking like that:

As you can see young stems were dying back – some of them dead already – on some the bark was peeling of and showing the wood underneath.

What I am thinking someone didn’t prune the tree properly and did it in wrong time of the season. And probably the wounds that were left after cutting off where not coated with pruning sealer.

I also found this on few branches

And something like little red eggs…

What I did so far was I cut off lot of dead/dying branches, applied wound seal and the diseased branches will be burned.
But I would like to be able to name the problem.
Thank you in advance for your help.

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the red 'egg' things look like coral spot fungi. as for the rest of the problems I'd not like to say really.

1 Feb, 2014


Kasy. We call it Apple canker. It is a disease caused by a fungus, Neonectria galligena. And yes, it often starts at wounds (pruning).

1 Feb, 2014


I agree it's apple canker.

2 Feb, 2014


Thank you for your comments. I was familiar with very advanced stage of apple cancer - didn't know what to think about young twigs dying back.
And I thought the coral spot is rather orange, lol.

2 Feb, 2014


Apple "canker" (not cancer) can attack any part of the tree Kasy.... young or old wood. This fungus is not selective it looks for a open wound in the bark (or even a leaf). We have it also on our old apple trees.
The bright orange fruiting bodies containing spores are part of the desiese.
Here is a good link with simple explanation:

there more involved biological explanation sites if you google.

2 Feb, 2014


Klahanie - thank you for the link - it is very useful.
And as for cancer/canker - it is my favourite word to make a mistake... I am doing it all the time, lol.

3 Feb, 2014


Hi Kasy, we are dealing with this fungus on our apple trees as well. I gather this is not your tree?

3 Feb, 2014


You're right Klahanie - it is in my client's garden. Hope you will be able to cure yours :)

3 Feb, 2014

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