Pests and Diseases

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A section highlighting some of the pests and diseases that attack Apple and Pear trees, and their fruit.

There was a website on apple pests and diseases with good photos and plenty of information on control measures.


Apple Tree Diseases

Unfortunately there are a number of diseases to which apple and pear trees can become infected, especially when growing conditions are not perfect or there has been damage.

Apple Canker

Apple canker is a fungal disease that enters the tree through damage to the bark - anything from a break or pruning cut, through to a leaf scar can provide an entry point.

Your first indication may be the thought that you have fireblight because of the appearance of die-back which is similar in apple canker and fireblight.

Or you may notice a swelling and discolouration of the bark, or an elliptical scab. Canker can strike in many places on the same branch and one Kingston Black cider apple tree succumbed to apple canker and had to be dug up.

The canker grows under the bark around the circumference of the branch, destroying the tissues which supply nutrients to the higher parts of the branch. When the growth completely encircles the branch, the branch will die - as will the tree if the canker grows around the trunk, which was the case with this tree.

Apple Mildew / Powdery Mildew

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Silver powdery coating on leaves. From reading around, I decided to prune this out and give the plant a general spray with bicarb solution. Hopefully someone more expert will comment.

Further reading and illustrations of powdery mildew on apple trees:

Bark loss

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ukcider members suggested that the bark on this tree has been gnawed by rodents, probably squirrels.


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Don't know what this beastie is/was but it was eating the leaves.

Curly Whirly

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Unwrapped the curls and there are lots of tiny yellow bugs, some of them I wiped off and the worst leaves I pinched out -seems to have worked.