Rot, or what?

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Shaun Rigby

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Rot, or what?
« on: September 03, 2019, 23:33 »
Hi all,

Iíve recently took on an allotment that is in a very bad way. Luckily, the plot come with 2 fruit trees - an apple and a plum tree.

However, looking at the bearing fruit and surrounding branches, Iím unsure if the trees are best off being chopped.

Iím not an expert so would appreciate any advice...



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Re: Rot, or what?
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2019, 15:22 »
The apples that have rotted look like they have brown rot which I think might affect plums too. You can keep this under control by removing any apple that has it and disposing of it (you can bury them or burn them). I think its fungal and you need to clear up leaves etc when theyíve dropped. Ive had it in allotment trees before now but still get a good harvest. If yours have been neglected the rot has spread but as long as you clear away every year and thin the fruit (so if one has it it doesnít spread to other touching fruit), you should see an improvement.



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Re: Rot, or what?
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2019, 16:04 »

I agree, I think your plums have 'brown rot'. Best to remove them all and dispose.  The apple I think may have 'bitter pit', but I'm willing to be corrected on that one.

Cheers,  Tony.
I may be growing OLD, but I refuse to grow UP !



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Re: Rot, or what?
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2019, 00:54 »
Yes definitely brown rot (a fungal disease) and bitter pit (caused by lack of calcium is the current thinking)
This is the way I would tackle the problem.
Completely strip the trees of fruit and dispose of it. Do not put it in the compost.
Clear away all the fallen fruit and leaves etc from around the trees and dispose of it all. Do not put it in the compost.
If the trees are congested and have not had a decent prune in years I would do it now. September is getting a bit late but if the weather is still reasonably warm and you do it now you should be alright.
To tackle the brown rot you will need to spray with an anti fungal spray. I'm not sure what you can use in the UK. I believe there has been a ban on many of the products that were most effective in dealing with fungal diseases. Others on the site may be able to make suggestions.
I'm not sure about the Bitter Pit as I've never had to deal with it. Keeping the moisture level in the soil constant might help. I know this is what you do to prevent calcium deficiency in tomatoes. Others on the site may have more of an idea on how to deal with it.
Hope this has been of some help.



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Re: Rot, or what?
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2019, 14:08 »
Your apple may have Bitter Pit, caused by a calcium deficiency.
According to RHS it's a disorder, not a disease. You spray the leaves with a calcium nitrite solution between now and mid September so you have time to help the tree. I'd treat it now to help the current fruit, but more to help set it up for next year.
Here's their page.

Check for canker on the apple tree.
We also just got a new plot in a bad way with an apple tree on it. But it looked fine until we looked closely. It had (let it be past tense, let it be past tense) canker which can kill the tree.

Can you post a picture of the whole tree? It'd be easier to judge what needs done.


Shaun Rigby

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Re: Rot, or what?
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2019, 23:45 »
Thank you all for your replies.

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the trees, but they are quite lacking in branches!

I did do some pruning of the branches - especially the ones that appeared dead and lifeless, but I'm not hopeful of them becoming a bumper harvest any time within the next few years.

The apple tree is only able to fruit around 6 apples, and the plum tree is wrapped at the top of the canopy in weeds, so, I am almost debating whether to just remove them both and plant new trees elsewhere on the plot.


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