apple tree ? : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread

I have four semi-dwarf apple trees that we planted in the fall of '98. We got them from Stark Bros. and they are supposed to be disease resistant. Two of them have a few apples for the first time this year. These same two have tips on the branches that are turning brown and dying. I am concerned about fire blight but puzzled also because I have two pear trees close to them and they are not affected at all and I always though pear trees were more susceptible to fire blight than apple trees??? The two problem trees are a Johnafree and Gold Rush and I'm quite sure they were supposed to be resistant to fireblight. We have been having unusually cool, damp weather the past two or 3 weeks so I'm thinking some kind of fungus? I have not sprayed them with anything except dormant oil spray in the early spring. I'm trying to grow them organic but rather than lose the trees I would be willing to spray them just this year and lose the apples. Anybody have any idea what it could be and what I should do about it? I appreciate any and all help. God bless.

-- Barb (, June 07, 2001


Barbara, it sounds like it could be a couple of things. I would treat for both organically and just see how that goes. Fire blight can strike resistant varieties, they aren't immune, so if you prune back the dead tips and then spray with a foliar feed and perhaps the fire blight treatment from Gardens, or a book that I have reccommends agricultural streptomycin. Then treat for fungus by spraying with a 4 tsp. per gallon of water with dish soap and 1 tsp of vegetable oil it should take care of it. My instincts tell me sulpher, but I can't find any back up in my book for that! I hope this helps you some.

-- Doreen (, June 07, 2001.

Barbara, I ran into a problem last fall with one of my apple trees that might be the same if you have had any frost in the past couple weeks (you said it has been cold). I fertilized too late in the fall and the new growth that my compost promoted all died off when there was a frost. I thought my tree had some horrible disease, but it was just frost kill. I know we had frost here a couple weeks ago, and I've had customers in at the nursery I work at buying tomatoes to replace their frost-killed plants this past weekend. Is that a possibility?

-- Sheryl (, June 12, 2001.

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