Continue to protect new growth of apple, crabapple and pear before leaf wetness periods – to prevent defoliation and dieback from diseases this spring.
Apple Scab (Venturia inaequalis, on apple/crabapple, see above) and Fireblight (Erwinia amylovora, on apple/crabapple, pear, see below) diseases have been sporulating and spreading starting at bud swell and will continue right through the bloom phase of apple and pear. Continue to protect new foliage throughout leaf emergence and hardening off, especially before leaf wetness periods.
Typically, both of these disease organisms require warm, moist conditions to successfully infect host tissue. Temperatures need to be greater than 18C for fireblight bacteria to be active and the risk of fireblight will increase with increasing temperatures, peaking at 24C. Leaf wetness periods during bloom will also increase the success of those primary floral infections of fireblight bacteria.
AVOID PRUNING APPLE/CRABAPPLE AND PEAR FROM BUD SWELL TO LATE SUMMER TO AVOID CREATING WOUND ENTRY POINTS FOR FIREBLIGHT INTO THE TREE. IF YOU HAVE TO PRUNE (E.G. STORM DAMAGE) SPRAY RUBBING ALCOHOL OR FUNGICIDE ON THE WOUND TO HASTEN THE DRYING OF TISSUES AND TO HELP PREVENT DISEASE ENTRY. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS DISINFECT PRUNING TOOLS WHEN PRUNING APPLE/CRABAPPLE AND PEAR.
Management programs are different for each disease. This is because:
- Apple scab is caused by a fungus and Fireblight is caused by a bacteria, and
- For Apple Scab, the disease enters through emerging leaf tissue (and fruit tissue) and for Fireblight, the disease enters through the floral stigmas
APPLE SCAB on Apple. Protect new leaf tissue starting at Green Leaf Tip throughout leaf emergence, especially before precipitation events (which cause spore dispersal and infection). Temperatures need to be greater than 10C for apple scab fungal spores to be active and the speed of apple scab infection will increase with increasing temperatures. Repeat fungicide applications every 7-10 days until petal fall (full leaf expansion). Apple Scab products include Nova, Banner (grp 3), Pristine (grp 7,11), Compass (grp 11), Copper (grp M1) and Captan (grp M4). Some newer fungicide options include Luna Tranquility (grp 7,9) and Fontelis (grp 7). The biological Serenade (grp 44) is an option where use of traditional fungicides is not feasible. During cool, wet leaf emergence periods, 3 fungicide applications can really help reduce disease incidence. Always rotate fungicides between chemical groups/families. Click HERE for the OMAFRA Factsheet on Apple Scab. Click HERE for an OMAFRA video on apple scab.
FIREBLIGHT. Floral applications of products for Fireblight (such as copper (e.g. Cueva), Kasumin, streptomycin) should begin at early bloom and continue throughout the bloom period to reduce numbers of fireblight bacteria on floral structures (stigmas). The floral stigmas are the main entry point for fireblight into the tree. Secondary summer infections may be possible in June/July where storm damage (e.g. hail) has occurred, creating wounds for entry of fireblight bacteria into new branches.
Click HERE for an OMAFRA video on Fireblight and Rusts.
And don’t forget those Gymnosporangium rusts:
Pear Trellis Rust on Pear. When pear leaves start to emerge from buds and precipitation is expected, protect new foliage against Pear Trellis Rust (Gymnosporangium fuscum) infections. These spores can travel long distances through weather currents. Pear trellis rust products include Nova (grp 3) and Pristine (grp 7,11). Protect new foliage with 2-3 applications, focusing applications just before a precipitation event.
Cedar-Apple Rust, Cedar-Hawthorn Rust & Cedar-Quince Rust. Where leaves are starting to emerge on susceptible crabapple, hawthorn and serviceberry (Rosaceous hosts) and precipitation is expected, protect new foliage against Gymnosporangium rusts. Gymnosporangium rust products include Nova (grp 3), Pristine (grp 7,11), Daconil (grp M5). Protect new foliage with 2-3 applications, focusing applications just before an precipitation event.
Get your orange halves out if you want to enjoy the gorgeous Baltimore Orioles migrating in to southern Ontario right now! They aren’t very shy this time of year and promise to serenade you for their supper!