Plant Diseases

Brown Rot of Stone Fruit

Brown Rot of Stone Fruit
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Spread by wind and rain, this fungal disease enters the blossoms of fruit trees, then moves down the twigs. It survives on infected twigs and on mummies (shriveled fruit) to reinfect the tree the following year.

Target: Apricot, nectarine, peach, plum, and other stone fruits.

Control: Fungicides, pruning, bird prevention (see repellents)

Damage: Blossoms wilt and decay; twigs crack and ooze sap. Fruit shows soft, brown spots, which may enlarge, rot, and become covered with spores.

Notes: Use netting to control birds, since wounds pecked in fruit can set the stage for infection. Destroy fallen fruit and leaves; pick rotten or shriveled fruit still on the tree, Prune to remove blighted twigs and to admit sunlight and improve air circulation. Spray with a fungicide during bloom; to prevent fruit rot, you can spray again 2 to 3 weeks before harvest.