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Avoiding Fruit Tree Disease

Jul 16, 2008
Virtually any garden design can be improved by the inclusion of a fruit tree, or, if you have the space, a number of fruit trees. Fruit trees can produce the most amazing displays when in blossom and, of course, you have the advantage of it bearing edible fruit later in the year. If you are in the process of designing a garden and it includes a fruit tree, such as a plum tree, which produces pitted fruit it will be necessary for you to investigate ways in which to avoid disease as these types of tree are prone to be susceptible to disease.

A sadly common fruit tree disease is Brown Rot which is a fungus that appears on fruit. Usually it develops on fruit that has fallen from the tree and been left to rot. As Brown Rot is a fungus it can spread very quickly as fungus produce lots of tiny little spores which, due to their size, are highly mobile.

Fungus grows best in damp areas that do not have good air flow. The spores of fungus land on the area and quickly establish themselves and start producing more spores in a very short space of time. One of the best ways to protect your fruit tree from fungal infection is to prune it carefully.

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.

Because cytospora canker is a fungus the approach to preventing the onset or spread of the disease is very much the same as how we deal with Brown Rot. Pruning our fruit tree is really the best way in which we can protect it but, of course, if pruned correctly, your fruit tree will produce far more fruit than without pruning.

Fungal disease can be a real nuisance in any plant but in a fruit tree is can cause a great deal of stress for the tree and ourselves (because of the loss of the crop). Brown Rot and cytospora canker are but two fungal diseases of which a gardener should be aware and we strongly advise that you investigate this topic a little more to ensure that you understand the problem and learn how to deal with it if it should appear in your garden. Any knowledge of tree care is always beneficial but with fruit trees you need to take extra special care if you want to be rewarded with a fine looking tree that produces much blossom and plenty of fruit every year.
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Landscaping Info 4U is an excellent source of gardening information including info about fruit tree disease and general tree care
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