3 Pathogens That Can Ruin Your Apples!

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Whether you're considering growing apple trees for commercial benefit or to use to craft delectable delights in your home kitchen, the last thing you want is for your apple trees to fall victim to pathogens. Although apple trees are fairly pest and disease resistant, there are three conditions that can destroy them if left unchecked. Be on the lookout for these three conditions on your apple trees!

Apple Scab

Apple scab is a scourge that affects apple trees in all parts of the world. Those who live in the northeastern part of the United States may not be able to grow apple trees without taking some measure of protection against this destructive pathogen. Signs of infected trees include circular lesions on leaves, stems, and fruit. The lesions are brown to dark green in color on leaves and stems and become black and scab-like on fruit. Effective control of this fungal disorder requires annual spraying with fungicide.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is another fungal disease that has the potential to ruin fruit and weaken apple trees. Like apple scab, powdery mildew is a fungal pathogen. Because it can also prevent flower buds from opening, it has an adverse effect on fruit quantity as well as quality. Powdery mildew is most noticeable on the leaves and the fruit, although they also affect blossoms and young shoots. Infected areas look as if silver-gray powder has been sprinkled on their tissue. This condition causes die-back, defoliation, and stunted growth. It also weakens trees to the extent that they are vulnerable to damage and destruction by secondary pathogens. Annual applications of foliar fungicide keeps powdery mildew at bay.

Fire Blight

Fire blight is another scourge that requires vigilance on the part of those who grow apple trees. Symptoms include a grayish-green tinge on emerging blossoms that rapidly turns black or brown, young leaves and shoots that are black or brown, and droplets of ooze during warm, humid weather. The blossoms die within two weeks of being infected, resulting in little or no fruit production. Unlike the preceding two conditions, fire blight is caused by bacteria. When allowed to continue unchecked, fire blight leaves the entire tree with the appearance of having been scorched by fire. It can be controlled using an integrated approach that combines bactericides and cultural controls.

Contacting a professional tree service, such as Sylvester's Tree Service, at the first sign of any of the above conditions may also help save your trees.

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14 July 2015

Growing Better Food

When I started farming on my land, I thought of it as mostly a hobby. Instead of worry about the quality of my beets and potatoes, I focused on having fun with my kids and learning how to operate my farming equipment. However, as time went on, I realized that farming offered some pretty valuable opportunities. I started selling some of my goods at local farmer's markets, and it was amazing to see how much people enjoyed my stuff. I want to teach you how to grow better food, so that you can eat better and make the world a wonderful place.