Why apples rot on an apple tree
The apple tree requires special care for itself, if you nevertheless decide to grow apples in your garden, you should know all the nuances of growing. Very often you can see how apples rot on an apple tree. Of course, possible causes can be mechanical damage and against a background of high humidity, apples can rot, or this can happen due to an invasion of pests and from a lack of nutrients, but most often we are talking about such a scourge as moniliosis. In this article we will tell you what it is and how to deal with it. Moniliosis is a fungal disease caused by the fungus Monilia cinerea, which tends to spread quickly and can destroy a significant number of fruits in a short time, therefore, timely detection of signs of infection is very important. Stone fruits such as plum, cherry plum, cherry are very susceptible to moniliosis, but apples and pears are no exception.
Why do apples rot on an apple tree?
Apples rot on an apple tree: photo
The first harbinger of this fungus, due to which apples rot on an apple tree, is that in early spring the tops of the apple tree begin to dry out even before flowering. Gardeners mistakenly think that these are the consequences of frost, lack of nutrients or water, so very often the first stage of infection is overlooked. The second stage is when dark spots appear on the apples, which then turn into one large and become covered with a white bloom - these are spores of moniliosis. Soon, under the influence of the fungus, the fruits become soft, the inside is mummified, the apple falls off the branch, that is, the apples rot. It is very important to detect the fungus in a timely manner, because during the season it can destroy up to 80% of the crop.
The fungus due to which apples rot on an apple tree is characterized by the fact that it is able to spread in different ways - by the wind, insects, rain throughout the growing season of the fruit tree. It easily tolerates wintering, becoming more active in early spring, but reaches a special peak in June-August, when fruits are already emerging. Marsupial fungus - moniliosis loves humid, foggy and relatively cold weather: 15-200, warming after cold weather, air humidity 90o will have a good effect on its activity. Weakened, wounded trees are especially susceptible to infection; fungal spores, once caught in cracks in the bark, begin to actively multiply and can move to healthy areas, or even neighboring trees. The disease can also spread to the inflorescences and stalks in the spring, before flowering, then it can already infect the flowers of the apple tree. The signs of infestation of flowers will also be browning and subsequent dropping. Such flowers, as well as fruits infected with rot, must be removed from the tree in a timely manner, because the fungus can spread to other shoots from infected areas, even fallen infected fragments are dangerous, spores from them also pass to healthy areas for another two years.
It is noteworthy that in Russia, the foci of the spread of this disease are in the South Urals, Altai, Siberia, and the Western part of the Caucasus. Also, the fungus is dangerous even after harvest, spores can remain on apples, and develop during storage. But in this case, brown spots will not form, the apples will simply turn black.
Moniliosis has two stages of development:
- Kondialnaya... This period is characterized by the fact that spores actively begin to multiply and, as a result, spread. The spores look like small gray pads.
- Sclerocial... This period is the time when the fungus is dormant, hibernates in the bark or cracks of a tree, but most often hibernates in infected fruits in the form of mycelium.
Diseases due to which apples rot on an apple tree occur in two forms:
- Fruit rot (apples rot). This form is more common in Russia and is often mistaken for ordinary damage. The spores of the fungus penetrate the inside of the fetus through the thin skin and the process of decay begins from the inside, as a result of which first brown spots appear, then the fruit is mummified and disappears. The incubation period of the disease is only five days.
- Monilial burn... This form is common in the South and the Far East. In this case, it is not the fruits that are infected, but the inflorescences or twigs. They also turn brown, dry up and fall off.
Apple moniliosis: treatment
Apples rot on an apple tree: photo
The best way to fight, the same as with all other diseases due to which apples rot on an apple tree, is prevention. Preventive measures will save you time, hassle and money. Moniliosis is dangerous in that it is capable of infecting all stone fruit trees in your garden, so special attention should be paid to prevention, especially if the year turned out to be wet and cold. Some varieties are especially susceptible to moniliosis, so refrain from such a purchase, and varieties such as Idared, Slavyanka, Babushkino, Pepin saffron, Kandil Sinap are less susceptible to fungus. But this does not mean that they are completely safe.
For prophylaxis in the summer, two times you need to spray the tree with fungicides - 5% percent solution of ferrous sulfate, or Horus, Ftalan, Abiga-Peak, Kuprozan (follow the instructions). Approximately two to three days before flowering, it is necessary to treat the tree with a 1% solution of Bordeaux liquid or Fitolavin. The harbingers of infection with monoliosis is scab, if you notice it, then you need to especially carefully process the tree. All dry and darkened leaves and branches should be cut off in a timely manner, after pruning they must either be burned or buried in the ground to a depth of 20 cm.In regions with high humidity and unfavorable climatic conditions, it is necessary to thin out the crown of trees so that there is better air circulation. Trees should be planted at least 3m apart. It is important to follow the basic principles of tree care: watering, fertilizing, and treating other viral diseases and insects in a timely manner. It is not recommended to cause mechanical damage, as infection penetrates through them.
As a preventive measure for the apple harvest, you need to disinfect the storage container, you need to collect only intact, healthy fruits, maintain the temperature no higher than 00. You need to regularly dig up the near-stem areas, and feed them with fertilizers during digging, so you exclude the possibility of infection through the soil. Even in spite of all these preventive measures, we cannot guarantee that the tree will not become infected, because weather conditions can affect and the disease can spread from neighboring areas. After harvesting, it is recommended that all trees in your garden be treated with a solution of copper sulfate in order to destroy all diseases and the fungus moniliosis as well.
As we have already found out, moniliosis is a very dangerous disease, due to which apple trees rot on an apple tree, capable of destroying most of the crop in one growing season. Therefore, it is very important to pay attention to the prevention and care of the apple tree.
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