You may not have heard of apple scab before, but it’s actually one of the most common tree diseases out there. Its cause? A fungus known as Venturia inaequalis. It gets its name from the fact that it mainly targets apple and crabapple trees, but it commonly impacts other trees like pear, mountain ash, and cotoneaster.
You’ll notice its olive green or yellow spots that develop on the surface of your tree’s leaves. Some apple tree varieties are actually scab-resistant, however if your tree isn’t, we have more details about what apple scab is and what you can do about it.
It Mostly Targets Fruit Trees
Like we said, apple scab mostly impacts apple and crabapple trees but can impact other fruit trees including mountain ash and pear. It’s unsightly and will cause many tree owners to panic. It’s important to know that the disease won’t kill your tree; it will simply cause discoloration of leaves and the fruit your trees grow. Over time, it may make your tree weaker and increase the chances that it will be damaged by environmental causes.
Look For Leaf Spots
There are a few ways you can identify apple crab on an infected tree. The first and most noticeable sign is whenever olive-green spots develop, usually on the underside of your tree’s leaves or on the fruit. If left untreated, those spots will inevitably turn black or brown and develop a velvety feeling.
Fruit that is infected with apple scab will also show these kinds of signs and will even become misshapen as a result. Don’t worry though, as the fruit might look different but is still perfectly safe to eat.
If you’re concerned about apple scab, you can plant varieties that are resistant to it such as Priscilla, Pristine, Crimson Crisp, and Winecrisp. If that’s not possible, just take the time to destroy any infected leaves that end up falling from a tree that has apple scab. Keeping trees pruned so there’s enough space between them can also prevent the disease from spreading from tree to tree.
The next best defense? Fungicide. Apply fungicide to your trees sometime in the spring and you can help prevent apple scab from happening in the first place. If a tree does get infected, you’ll want to continue to apply fungicide throughout the seasons and hopefully break the cycle of infection.
Professional Tree Service from Harford Tree
Ready to have the beautiful yard you have always dreamed of? Harford Tree Experts & Landscaping, Inc has been in the business for decades, providing customers with quality work and quick responses all at the right price. We service the areas of Harford County, Baltimore County, Baltimore City areas including Bel Air, Fallston, Perry Hall, Towson, Essex, Parkville, White Marsh, and Middle River. For service during business hours, reach out to us or give us a call at 410-592-7321. We offer 24/7 emergency service as well, just give us a call at 443-250-6649. For updates about our business and more informative tips, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.