Brown Rot Magnets are Real

Brown-Rot Magnet = Any tree in the stone fruit family in which no amount of spraying seems to control brown rot. Brown rot magnets are mostly native to the east coast.

In my attempts to win the brown rot war last winter I removed several trees deemed magnets.This is only the first year since removal, but I am noticing much less rot than before on other trees. The magnets were a near lost cause and now I know they were also destroying the others around them. No more games with stone fruits. If your a rotter you have to go no matter how good you taste.

Moral of the story. One bad apple really does destroy the bunch.
My local 4 legged landscapers seem to really love the rotted fruit though.

On a side note. I spoke with a master gardener who informed me that diluted Listorine (mouth wash) kills brown rot. He claimed it to be an effective organic spray. Has anyone ever heard of that or tried it?


Definitely, removing magnets is important, those magnets will infect all the other trees. For organic production it is a must… I removed many dozens of varieties just for that reason. But now that I am using Indar I find that I can keep around a few heavy rotters and it is not impossible to get them to fruit well. I do quite a few rot sprays early in the season which set the rot back heavily throughout the year. I am getting some spot rot now on bird- or bug-damaged plums, but so far pulling off the couple rotting ones has kept the rest of the fruit clean… no rot sprays on the plums for a month now. Now all I need is a spray for squirrels, crows, and groundhogs … lots of hard work is going down the drain recently.

I would be strongly skeptical of Listerine doing anything against brown rot in an orchard.


Like you I am getting a lot of bug and bird damage which in turn converts to rot. I am also fighting all those animals and more. Lately I have switched from poison to putting mulberry trees all around the property outskirts. The thought is I can sidetrack them with an easy endless supply before they get to the better items. I’m sure it won’t work, but at least I will win with more mulberries.

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A number of times I’ve seen fruit flies around the fresh bird peck wounds on stone fruits. The fruits usually rot just before they are ripe enough to pick. I’ve lost many crops this way. It would be nice if birds didn’t test every single fruit on a tree.

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Yeah, I tell my squirrels that they’re welcome to eat peaches. But take one and eat the whole thing. And don’t eat them all before they ripen. But they don’t seem to be listening. I don’t have a groundhog family this year, but when I do, they’re terrible. They take a bite or 2 out of 3 ripe tomatoes, instead of eating 1. Which means none for us. I don’t mind sharing, but I like to get a share, too!

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Have you tried Gatorade — not the classic orange but the blue Tidy-Bowl flavored powder? I don’t think they’d like that!

I planted 6 peaches from seed from a friend that said the parent tree seemed fine. I resolved my squirrel problem with tube traps but the last two weeks saw complete loss to brown rot. I didn’t even know brown rot was a thing till last week. No spraying at all this year. Now I need to decide what to do. Spray next year vs chainsaw trees and replant with more resistant varieties. I was a wet spring but there isn’t a good peach left. Probably 10-15 gallons of mummies.

I’m an amateur gardener learning the hard way😩

You can expect that every year if you do not spray. On any stone fruit. Even with spraying there will still be some loss to it. You have to decide if you want to commit to spraying every year a couple times.

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Bummer, those peaches look like they were nice until the rot hit. I wouldn’t rip the trees out. Assuming space isn’t an issue for you, I’d plant 3 or 4 new varieties that might do better for your area, but keep and spray the bearing trees in the meantime. You can take some or all of the original 6 out later if they become too much. Spraying is no fun, but a handful of peach trees is maintainable and rewarding, especially if other factors work in your favor like they seemed to have this year until the rot hit. The easiest spray for you to get and use for brown rot would probably be Bonide Infuse. Also–> fruit trees don’t grow true from seed. The exact characteristics of the parent will not be passed on. Peaches are more similar to the parent tree than other fruit trees (like apples), but still are not 100%.

So sorry. That’s my peach harvest, too.