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Preventing Fruit Tree Disease

Mar 31, 2008
Including a fruit tree or two in your garden design can add a great deal of interest and beauty. Even in the smallest garden it is possible to buy small fruit trees or fruit trees that have been cleverly grafted together onto rootstock that ensures that it remains a manageable size. Some can even be grown in containers, which can be extremely useful, for gardens in areas wish have a cooler climate, as it means that a tree can be moved into a greenhouse during the winter months. If you choose to grow a type of fruit tree that bears pitted fruit (cherry, plums and the likes) you will need to learn a little about how to avoid disease as these trees can prove a little more susceptible than other types.

Brown Rot is rather a common disease seen on fruit, especially fruit which has fallen from the tree and been left on the ground. This fruit tree disease can be rather difficult to eradicate as it is a fungus and as such produces a very large amount of spores. These spores are incredibly small and can travel a surprising distance and once it appears on fallen fruit it can quickly spread to the main plant and will, eventually, appear on the fruit still on the tree.

Luckily fungus needs specific conditions in which to thrive. The usual places where fungus establishes itself are damp, dark places where the air often remains stagnant. One of the best ways to reduce the risk of fungal infection appearing on your fruit tree is to prune it properly and regularly.

A good strong and healthy tree with vigorous growth will be more able to avoid infection, or, if it does develop disease it will be well equipped to recover from it quickly. One of the ways in which we can ensure that our trees remain in peak condition is to prune them regularly. Pruning trees is vital to their well being in many ways and, in the case of fungal diseases, pruning helps to increase air flow through the branches thus minimizing the number of places which would be suitable for fungus to establish itself.

However effective against disease pruning can be the most obvious, easiest and quite possibly the most effective way to avoid fungal infection in your fruit tree is to ensure that all fallen fruit is immediately picked up and removed from the immediate area. Furthermore, by keeping a close eye on the tree a gardener can remove and quickly destroy any parts of the tree that show signs of fungal disease.

Cytospora canker is another disease that can appear on a fruit tree. Cytospora canker is another fungal disease but looks completely different to Brown Rot. Rather, it shows as soft dark patches, on branches, a callous forms and gum oozes from the bark of the tree. Commonly cytospora canker appears in old wounds which have not healed completely.

Again, to avoid this fungal infection/disease it is necessary to prune your fruit tree correctly. Great care should be taken to ensure a clean cut that will heal quickly and stand little chance of becoming infected with cytospora canker or any other fungus.

Brown Rot and cytospora canker are only two of several fruit tree diseases that can become something of a nuisance to any gardener, even the professionals can find themselves struggling. However the risk of infection can be vastly reduced by following the advice above. Obviously it is extremely important that you follow other tree care rules such as ensuring that your tree is supplied with sufficient water and nutrients but with just a little effort you can help your tree to grow strong and healthy.
About the Author
Landscaping Info 4U is an excellent source of gardening information including info about disease in fruit trees and general tree care
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