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Brown rot is a fungal disease of apples, pears, plums, cherries and other fruit and ornamental trees, causing a brown, spreading rot in fruit. It is caused by the same fungi that cause blossom wilt of the flowers and fruit spurs.
Brown rot is a fungal disease of tree fruit, caused by the fungi Monilinia laxa and M. fructigena. The two fungi are very closely related and indistinguishable to the naked eye. M. laxa more commonly causes blossom wilt on pears and stone fruit, and a specific form, M. laxa f. sp. mali is restricted to apples. M. fructigena can cause brown rot in most fruit trees.
Many ornamental and fruit trees are affected, including apples, pears, plums, cherries, nectarines, peaches, apricots, including ornamental varieties.
Rotting fruit are found from mid-summer onwards.
You may see the following symptoms:
Fungicides applied for other purposes, such as scab control, may give some incidental control though this is not claimed by the manufacturers.
Fungicides for gardeners (Adobe Acrobat pdf document outlining fungicides available to gardeners)
Chemicals: using a sprayerChemicals: using safely and effectivelyChemicals: storing and disposing safely
Fruit becomes infected through wounds. Affected fruits mummify and may remain hanging on the tree and where they touch the bark they cause small infections (cankers). The fungus remains in the dead fruit and cankers over winter and releases spores in the spring to cause the blossom wilt phase of the disease. These infections in turn release spores to infect wounded fruit.
ApplesApple cankerApple scab and pear scabBitter pit in applesBlossom wiltCodling mothDisposing of diseased materialFruit: storingSilver leaf
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Jenny Wilson on 29/08/2014
I have lost nearly half the plum crop to this disease this summer. The young fruits were plentiful; would thinning them out to allow more air to circulate have any effect?
kentishlady on 08/09/2014
I lost a whole crop of apples to brown rot. I am picking up and burying all fruit (a big job!). What else can I do to stop this affecting my tree next year?
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