How to Prevent Apple Scab Disease: Best Practices

how to prevent apple scab disease

Apple scab disease (Venturia inaequalis) is a fungal disease that infects the fruit of flowering trees, primarily apples. If you care for an apple tree, it’s essential to know how to prevent apple scab disease. Prevention provides more suitable options than treatment.

Once the disease sets in, it is challenging to save the plant. Humid, warm, and wet conditions aid in the spread of scab apple disease. Wet weather allows the bacteria to infiltrate apple trees, where the rot will spread over time.

Read on to learn how Fairfax Tree Service Company can help with your apple scab issue.

Identifying Scab Apple Disease

Scab apple disease presents itself in many ways, primarily as round black lesions. The rotting appearance is similar in both the apple leaves and fruit. The apple scab feels velvety to the touch on the leaves, while it is tender and may ooze on the fruit.

Your apple tree bark may also show signs of disease through sores in open areas. In addition, the bark will cluster and flake off the tree in more severe cases. If you observe any of these features on your apple trees, apple scab disease is present and requires attention.

What to Do If You See Scab Apple Disease

Upon detection, you’ll need to take swift action control apple scab disease and prevent further spread. First, you should immediately remove all debris at the tree’s base. Items like sticks, fallen leaves, weeds, and other plants trap moisture that allows the bacteria to spread.

After clearing all debris, you may want to aerate the soil surrounding the tree’s base. Aerating the soil will help the roots breathe and dry out any other rot. To aerate or fluff the soil, shovel and turn the ground carefully to not hit any roots.

If the soil around the base of your apple trees is chunky, rocky, or wet, leave aeration to the professionals. Aeration is a tricky process, and is often better left to an experienced landscaper when apple scab disease is present.

Prevention Tips

When considering how to prevent apple scab disease, act early during the planting process. Don’t wait until after the trees are in the ground.

Steps you can take to control apple scab disease include:

Select Scab-Resistant Varieties

When planning your apple tree orchard, consider scab-resistant species naturally immune to apple scab. Varieties that do not tend to develop apple scab include:

  • Brandywine
  • Candied apple
  • Calaway
  • Jewelberry
  • Weeping candy apple
  • White angel

Dry Compost

Compost is an excellent way to nurture your plant with many dense nutrients. However, compost may contain excess moisture and contract apple scab if it has not reached decomposition. By only using mature compost, you ensure that excess moisture will not rot your tree.

Water Properly

Overwatering apple trees leads to pooling and dampness around the root system. Water your trees at optimal times of the day, from morning to late afternoon. As a result, you’ll ensure they will be dry for the next watering.

Prune Branches

Pruning tree branches allows for proper circulation through the tree and rids it of diseased limbs. When pruning a tree, ensure that your tools are dry and contain no rust. Damp tools will contribute to the spread of disease.

If you’re still unsure about how to prevent apple scab disease, Woods Tree and Landscaping can help. Our licensed and insured landscapers offer excellent care for any plant of concern on your property. To know more about tree trimming and pruning your apple trees, contact Woods Tree and Landscaping in Fairfax, VA.

Call us at (703)-478-4704 for a free estimate and consultation today!

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