Join the RHS today and support our charitable work
Keep track of your plants with reminders & care tips – all to help you grow successfully
RHS members get reduced ticket prices
RHS members get free access to RHS Gardens
Free entry to RHS members at selected times »
Reduced prices on RHS Garden courses and workshops
020 3176 5800
Mon – Fri | 9am – 5pm
Help us achieve our goals
Join the RHS today and support our charity
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 fruit trees and their ornamental varities are affected, including apples, pears, plums, cherries, nectarines, peaches and apricots.
Rotting fruit are found from mid-summer onwards.
You may see the following symptoms:
No fungicides are available to amateur gardeners for the control of brown rot.
Fungicides for gardeners (Adobe Acrobat pdf document outlining fungicides available to gardeners)
Chemicals: using a sprayer
Chemicals: using safely and effectively
Chemicals: 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.
Apple scab and pear scab
Bitter pit in apples
Disposing of diseased material
Apples and pears: pruning made easy
the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9
RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.
We're a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.