We do a lot of apple tree pruning at Cutting Edge Tree Professionals. Apple trees make up a huge percentage of trees in Pennsylvania. Apple trees are common in personal gardens and homes and full apple orchards. According to an article by Penn State Extension, “Pennsylvania produces 400 to 500 million pounds of apples per year and ranks fourth in the nation for apple production.”

That’s why we’ve come up with a list of common apple tree diseases to look out for. In just a few months, many apple trees will be ripe for picking. Now is the time to watch your trees’ health. If you do see a problem, be sure to let our Plant and Disease Healthcare Specialist at Cutting Edge Tree Professionals treat your trees.

Common Diseases

  1. Apple Scab – a fungus that you will see on the leaves of your apple trees. It discolors the leaves first, turning them brown and yellow with scab like markings. Though Apple Scab rarely kills the tree, which you know because it still produces fruit, Apple Scab will weaken the tree.
  2. Powdery Mildow – a fungus that you’ll see develop on the leaves of multiple types of trees, not just apple trees. The white powder develops the fungus spores. This disease is often related to humid weather. Since humidity can rarely be controlled, the best way to get rid of this fungus is through proper treatment.
  3. Cedar Apple Rust – a fungus that needs both cedar and apple tree hosts “to complete its lifecycle” and survive. You can tell Cedar Apple Rust has infected your apple tree by the discolored leaves and small twigs that look rusted. The most preventable way to control this fungus is to plant your apple trees away from cedars. Another preventable action you can take is to clean up debris from around your apple tree. Debris from previous season could be carrying the spores that cause the fungus, and all it takes is wind or water to carry the spores onto your tree.
  4. Fire Blight – a bacterial disease that should be removed as soon as possible. Branches and limbs with Fire Blight die crisp and burnt looking. This fungus spreads through insects/pollinators, not cleaning tools properly when pruning, and through water/irrigation that could splash Fire Blight onto the trees.

Stay Vigilant

In general, the best way to tell if your tree is infected and needs to be treated by a tree care specialist, is to look out for de-colorization of leaves and fruit, dead or dying leaves and branches, and markings that are not common for the season of production for your apple trees.

Apple trees are hearty and can survive in the wild (think crab apples). Common diseases for apples are treatable, and can be prevented in the future.

By calling Cutting Edge Tree Professionals, or your local, certified arborist if you are out of the Center County region in Pennsylvania, you can save your trees. Certified arborists are trained to identify and treat plant diseases and for invasive species.

Call Cutting Edge Tree Professionals today at 814-201-9757 if you have any questions!