Apple/Filbert/Pear problems

Hello, very glad I stumbled onto this site… Have been reading for a while, fantastic info here!

I’m in Northeast Tennessee (6B) and have an acre or so of land cleared and 2/3 planted with Apple, Pear, Plum, Cherry, Peach, Filbert, native white/softshell walnut, English Walnut, native black/red raspberry, Blackberry, etc… The area is very fertile, the weeds and wild blackberries can attest to that! It’s somewhat on the north side of the hill and there are tall trees surrounding it. So hours of direct sun aren’t quite what I’d like, but it’s what I have to work with…

We have an abundance of water, springs/creeks and almost swampy areas, but they’re at least 50’ away from where all of this is planted, and at least 10’ in elevation below. Nonetheless, this year I’m beginning to think the area is just a breeding ground for fungus/bacteria/etc…

Basically all my Apple trees got CAR this year. That’s with a consistent coating of Neem ~weekly. They and multiple other plants then started looking worse, leaf curl, dark splotches on leaves, etc… We had a moderately wet spring/early summer, lots of rain. I got some Daconil fungicide and sprayed most everything and that helped quite a bit. Wanting to be somewhat more “organic” though, I then got some D747 and have been fairly regularly spraying it instead. Some of the Apples have grown a foot since…

Two Filberts, one has only moderate leaf curl/splotches, the other though is that way on 3/4 or more of it’s leaves.

I sprayed a Johnson Pear with the Neem and it quickly started looking “rough”… I read that they can be sensitive to it I didn’t do so any more. It has continued to decline though, must be more going on than just that. It is now getting D747 same as the others.

Anyway, I’m trying to learn… There are just so many pests and maladies though… Any suggestions and/or specific recommendations based on what you might see in pictures of any of these?



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Welcome Wendell,
Your apple looked like it got apple scab, not Cedar Apple Rust.

Your pear looked like it got fire blight, a serious disease that can easily killed a tree.

I know nothing about filbert.

To learn about low impact spray or organic leaning spray, I suggest you read @scottfsmith’s Low Impact Spray Schedule.

To access it, on the top right corner of this page, you will see a symbol of three short line.
Click on it, you will see various fruit and gardening-related categories.
Click on the Guide category
Look for Low Impact Spray Schedule in the sub category.
Enjoy reading.

Hi Wendell, the first and third apple pictures are CAR and the last two are scab. Those are hard to control with organic sprays. First of all neem isn’t going to do much at all, neem is over-rated in terms of what it can help with. Second its late this year to do anything, you more need to start planning on what you will do next year. These diseases you need to nip in the bud around bloom and a bit later.

CAR doesn’t really have any effective organic treatment; I use one spray of myclobutail post-bloom for it. Its mainly cosmetic so you can also just put up with it. If you see the cedars/junipers nearby that are growing the spores you can also cut those down.

Scab requires early sprays in the season. I don’t know how well D747 works, thats one of the biofungicides I didn’t try. If you want to try it you need to do 3-4 early season sprays, read up on apple scab to see the timing. I used to use sulphur which works well, and now the myclobutanil mostly takes care of it. EDIT: here is a study which shows D747 (Double Nickel trade name) doesn’t do much for scab: I would use sulphur or myclobutanil. In general these biofungicides are best for mild problems. If you want to try the sulphur route I would include Regalia, its an immune system booster.

Its not so clear to me whats wrong with the pear, it could be getting stressed from the transplant and having trouble getting a good nutrient balance flowing from the roots. It may be late to do anything but make sure its well-watered. Don’t spray anything on it at this point, it doesn’t look diseased. The neem may have not been good since it was in a weakened state already.

The filbert just looks like environmental damage, its a young plant and the heat may be a bit much for it. At least based on my limited knowledge of filberts…

I am one of those who want to use less harsh chemicals. However, over the years, I have adjusted.

For example, growing apples, I am facing with several bacterial, fungal issues including cedar apple rust, scab, sooty blotch and fly speck, etc. Since myclobutanil takes care of those issues. I just do a couple of spray and be done with it.

In other words, effectiveness and convenience play a role in my decisions to use it…


Excellent, thanks!

Yeah, I’m fairly pragmatic as well… Organic is good, but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.

I hadn’t read that guide previously, but have seen a few others late this season. I didn’t get started with anything quite that intense this spring, but as I’ve read them I’ve realized that I need to be doing more. Next year…

Also starting to realize that Neem is perhaps “overhyped”…

That pear was grafted spring of 2015 and kept in a pot until that fall. It leaved out and looked great this spring, then wilted after the neem. Seemed to perk up then suddenly took a turn for the worse.

The Filberts were planted in 2016. The one with the most leaf curl has two root suckers sprouted close by, one of them has similar leaf curl. I will probably dig them up and move them a more appropriate distance away.

Anyway, thanks again!

Here, on susceptible varieties, it causes defoliation some years, some varieties and also attacks the fruit, which can be worthless when trees lose leaves too early anyway. One spray will not control it here, in my experience- but I’m in NY.

Anyone attempting to grow organic apples in the warmer parts of the humid region should only grow varieties with some resistance to scab and CAR- how much resistance is required depends on the site and general area but if you start off with known DRs like Liberty and Williams Pride. you can experiment by grafting other varieties on such a tree. .Actually, some of the newer DR varieties, like Crimson Crisp, have better growth habits than the old stand-bys and are easier to prune into a productive and attractive shape.

Myclobutanil applied at petal fall and 10-14 days later usually provides adequate protection from both diseases, but your morning (eastern) shade may make matters worse- the sooner the dew evaporates the less disease.

I’m not sure why Scott excludes the possibility of FB on pear. In my experience transplant shock doesn’t cause the browning of established leaves unless trees were transplanted while leafed out. Leaves suffering form transplant are small without luster and growth is weak. Looks like it could be FB to me.

I agree with Scott that it looks like the neem may have burned some leaves.

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Is there a particular myclobutanil spray that you use? I am also trying to keep sprays to a minimum and also less harsh chemicals. Like wdingus said “Organic is good, but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.” I would like to go all organic but where I am it is impossible to do without losing a lot of fruit and or trees.

Myclobutanil that I use is Immunox, multi purpose fungicide. It is sold at Lowe’s Home Depot. I just follow the instructions and spray twice like @alan mentioned.

Other chemicals I use is copper hydroxide, Kocide 3000 and Indar fungicide. I sometimes use Triacizicide insecticide but minimally.

In the east coast, @scottfsmith has the most experienced with the organic method.

TY for the information. I will look for one of those to use next year. I am trying to get a decent spraying schedule with the minimum amount of sprays.

I tried a light Neem dilution to combat spider mites on small peach, apricot, cherry, and plum trees. Many of the trees quickly got discoloration on the leaves (similar to bacterial spot) and several stopped growing. I am suspicious of my Neem oil, which is a 70% concentration. Many of the recommendations from forum members had specified pure Neem, though some mentioned 70%. Anyone else run into this?