Problems with potatoes and apple trees!

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ConfusedGardener

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Problems with potatoes and apple trees!
« on: July 07, 2013, 21:28 »
It seems I'm under attack, and I could use a little advice.

I first spotted the problem with the potatoes a week ago or so - one of the branches on one plant was badly wilted. I removed it, but now there is another on the same plant that is doing the same.



When I had a look up close, I found this:



Here is a closeup:



Something seems to be making holes in the stems?

Can anyone tell me what it is and what (if anything) I can do about it?

Most of the plants seem fine.




The other problems is that some of the apple trees have leaves that are covered in "rusty" spots:





I should add that the trees affected have almost no apples, where as all our other trees have what looks to be a healthy crop.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2013, 21:32 by ConfusedGardener »

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Trillium

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Re: Problems with potatoes and apple trees!
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2013, 02:28 »
The red spots on your apple leaves could be glomerella leaf blotch. More info HERE

My first guess on the pepper plants was verticillium/fusarium wilt. It's a fungal problem that enters plants and as it moves upward, it plugs all the water-conducting tissues, which cuts off the water supply to all plant areas, causing the foliage to start wilting. Plants will quickly collapse and die.
The critter drilling into the stem is too young to do much damage just yet (but will eventually) so I don't think it's the actual problem right now causing the severe wilt. I think it might be one of the many insects collectively called leaf miners, and this one has started on the stem so it could be a sawfly or borer larvae.


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ConfusedGardener

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Re: Problems with potatoes and apple trees!
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2013, 09:45 »
Thanks for the reply and link Trillium.

I guess that means the apple trees will have to be cut down?


I was just out having a look at the potatoes, and found further evidence of holes in the stems. Right now there are only two stems wilting on two plants that are next to each other, and they both have holes in them. All the rest seem fine, so I think it's too much of a coincidence for the wilt and holes not to be related.

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Annen

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Re: Problems with potatoes and apple trees!
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2013, 09:53 »
Sorry, I can't help with either problem, but one of my apple tree's leaves look just like yours, so I will be interested in any replies  :(
Anne

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Beetroot queen

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Re: Problems with potatoes and apple trees!
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2013, 09:54 »
Some of my spuds look like yours but i just figured they wont be long before finishing. That bug is just ugly, not looking too close because i dont want to see one. Looks like it could glow in the dark  :wacko:

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Trillium

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Re: Problems with potatoes and apple trees!
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2013, 18:03 »
I wouldn't cut down the tree until you've tried some cures.

First is always good sanitation around the trees - picking up all fallen fruit so the fungus spores can't multiply on you and spread to other trees, same with the infected leaves that will fall later. Bin them all, never compost them. And never move to other trees without thoroughly washing your hands and equipment. A change of clothes is also a good precaution since spores cling to anything.

Second, apply a fungicide that's fairly specific for apple scab (which is a similar problem) and spray as and when directed. It may take a season or two to clear up this problem but faster than replanting and waiting again (unless you don't care for the current variety).

If treatment still doesn't work in a few years, then cut down the tree and send all the pieces to the tip. Keep nothing. Then wash down all equipment used with bleach.

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ConfusedGardener

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Re: Problems with potatoes and apple trees!
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2013, 22:34 »
Hope yours is not as badly affected as mine seem to be Annen  :(

Beetroot queen - that's not a bug (if you mean in the pic I posted), it's the insides of the potato stem that have been ejected from the hole that was made in the stem. It was lit brightly by the sun when I took the photo, which is why it appears to be glowing!

Trillium - Thanks for the advice. What's worrying me is that one of the affected apple trees is within spitting distance of two more apple trees that do not seem to be affected, and quite a few leaves (the blotchy ones) are already being shed. I think I may just take it down rather than risk it spreading, and also since it isn't in the best position - it's crowding out our monkey puzzle as well as shading out much of the garden in the late afternoon!

The other affected tree is out of the way, but it is very big (50 ft+) and old, so it may be better to just put it out of it's misery.

I don't like the idea of using any chemicals anyway. I'm trying to be as organic as possible.

You said to take it to the tip, but would it be a bad idea to use it for fire wood, or have a bonfire and use the ashes on the garden?

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Trillium

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Re: Problems with potatoes and apple trees!
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2013, 02:10 »
You'd want to take precautions like gloves when handling it so that the fungi spores don't spread around the yard and onto the other trees. If you decide to topple the whole tree, the resulting crash will certainly send spores flying everywhere so if possible try to saw off the tree in small chunks that you lower to the ground to create the least 'draft'. Store the wood in a separate area and cover it so the fungi doesn't breed in the damp.

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ConfusedGardener

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Re: Problems with potatoes and apple trees!
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2013, 13:39 »
Appreciate the advice Trillium. I'll take care when cutting it down.



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