The aptly named apple scab disease is a potentially serious fungal infection affecting ornamental and fruit trees, particularly in the rose family. These include but are not limited to Crabapple, Hawthorne, Mountain Ash, Apple, and Pear. The name is a perfect fit because leaves with apple scab disease literally look like they have scabs. Read on to learn more about this disease and how to treat and prevent it.
Apple Scab Disease Symptoms
Scab lesions are usually first noticed on leaves, where they most commonly occur on the upper leaf surface. Fruits are commonly infected too. Lesions can vary in size, appearing up to half an inch in diameter. They are usually olive green to black in color feathery edges. When the disease has progressed to a harmful level, the scab-like lesions can appear to cover most of a leaf’s surface. Eventually, this can cause affected leaves or fruits to wither and fall off of the tree. Trees are most vulnerable during severe instances of cold, wet weather.
Scab Disease Treatment & Control
Recovering from fungal damage is possible. Regular fungicide treatments are highly recommended to achieve the most successful management of the disease. Another treatment method to try concurrently with fungicide is the application of organic fertilizer. Improving the state of the soil will improve the condition of the tree experiencing scab disease and accelerate the healing process.
Scab Disease Prevention
Once treatment has been administered, implementing prevention tactics will be helpful to protect against future infections. Avoiding fertilization procedures that increase soil pH and acidity will make fungal infections less likely. Planting scab disease-resistant tree varieties may also be beneficial. While regularly spraying trees with fungicide is an effective treatment method for scab-suffering plants, it will also aid in protecting previously unaffected greenery from developing this disease.
Hire a Professional Arborist
When in doubt, leave apple scab disease treatment up to the professionals. If you are located in the SE Wisconsin area, the dedicated team at M&M Tree Care will take the guess work out of maintaining the health and beauty of your landscape. Our scab disease treatment program consists of three annual Spring treatments to get the best control. Application of an organic fertilizer also helps improve the condition of the tree and aids in recovery from fungal damage.
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