Fruit Tree Diseases

Updated July 19, 2017

Fruit trees are susceptible to many diseases. Know which diseases are prevalent in your area and watch your trees closely for problems. Treating diseases early can save your crop.

Apple Scab

The most common apple tree disease is a fungus called apple scab. Lesions on the leaves lead to increased leaf loss and once the warm, rainy season arrives, scab growth on the fruit. (Reference 1)

Bacterial Spot (Peaches and Nectarines)

Peach trees east of the Rocky Mountains can be affected by bacterial spot. A small, brown circular spot on the fruit leads to pitting and cracking. The fruit is still edible but has an undesirable mottled appearance. (Reference 1)

Black Spot (Pears)

Black spot, or pear scab, causes irregularly shaped pears and dark spots on the fruit and leaves. Like apple scab, spores ride the wind and infect the flower and the fruit. (Reference 1)

Leaf Spot (Cherries)

This disease appears as dark purple or red spots on cherry leaves. The premature death of the tree's foliage leaves it with little protection against the elements. If leaf spot is left untreated, the tree will succumb. (Reference 3)

Prevention and Treatment

If possible, plant orchards of disease-resistant fruit trees. Otherwise, treat the trees with insecticides--while the trees are not flowering--and fungicides. (Reference 2)

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About the Author

Based in Rhode Island, Cindy Dixon has been writing since 1995. Her articles appear in “Weeder's Weekly” magazine and design journals. Dixon previously served as an editor for a international parenting site and was a copywriter for a Fortune 500 company. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in graphic design from Rhode Island College.