Golden Russet and scab

Golden Russet has more scab than any other apple in my orchard. I planted it 3 or 4 years ago and this year would’ve been my first taste of it hadn’t I accidentally summer pruned the one branch that had 3 apples on it. (Dummy). It’s gotten the same amount of sprays as my other apples and looks pretty bad. Is this typical of GR? Weirdly enough enough, the only other apple I’m growing that has more scab is Red Fuji that I grafted several years ago. I never thought of Fuji as an apple prone to scab but mine seems to be. And I even have Cox Orange Pollen grafted on the same tree. The leafs on COP do not show as much scab as the others but those apples are insect magnets. I probably have 8-10 COP apples and they are gnarly looking. I probably should pull them and get rid of them but was hoping to get a taste this year to see if I should keep it. For whatever reason it does seem like the old fashioned or antique apples attract more pests.

Apple varieties that I’m growing that look the healthiest are Pristine (guess the name is appropriate), Zestar, Scarlet Crush, and Suncrisp.


Fuji is susceptible to scab. Many commercial cultivars are. Here is a chart for the disease resistance of common apples. Fuji is listed.

Golden Russet is listed as resistant to scab in many references. However, for many russets it is just the fruit that is resistant to scab. The leaves often have some level of susceptibility. I grow a bunch of russets but don’t have Golden Russet in my orchard. Hopefully, someone that is growing it can chime in on the scab resistance of its leaves.

Old heirlooms vary in their disease resistance and attractiveness to pests quite a bit. Some have many problems and others have few.

Do you have pics of the infection on the leaves? Is it possible it is something besides scab or maybe something combined with scab?


I only have Golden Russet fruited for me for the past 3 years. No scab.
Could you please post pics? Could it be
damage from chemical spray instead of scab?

I have a few heirloom varieties. My experience is different from yours. To me, the russeted ones have less bug damage due to their tougher skin.

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I’ll take some pictures later and post them here. I assumed it was scab. Bit I probably have a bad habit of calling things scab any time I see brown gnarly leaves.

Here are some pictures I just took of tree, along with some other healthier apples in my orchard. Looks like scab to me but maybe it’s something different.

Golden Russet

Karmen De Sonneville

Scarlet Crush



Cherry Cox

Williams Pride



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I am no expert. Somehow, the leaves you posted looked different from leaves with scab that I’ve found on various reputable sites such as this one.

Apple scab

Do you think yours look like the one they showed in the link?

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I’m really not sure. I think it looks more like scab than it does shothole or CAR. There is also bacterial spot but I’m not familiar with any other apple leaf deseases.

The spots on your Golden Russet leaves are angular and irregular. Most of the time scab is circular or oval in shape and later in the infection the shapes will merge.

Here is some examples of scab with pics.

The spots remind me of Marssonina Blotch but I am not sure if its that or something else. The link below shows Marssonina Blotch.

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Do the apples from Golden Russet and Kamijn de Sonneville suffer from scab, too? If the fruit are clean, it would be quite odd that your spray protect the fruit but not the leaves.

Also Zestar is moderately susceptible to scab yet the leaves look very clean. At least the leaves I can see. If your having a problem with scab I would expect Zestar would have some on its leaves.

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I agree that doesn’t look much like scab, at least not like I have ever seen it.

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Unfortunately I don’t have any fruit on either. I did have a few apples on some high growth that I didn’t notice. When I was summer pruning to reduce size the apples came off on the dropped cuttings. That was several weeks ago and I didn’t pay much attention to how they looked.

Whatever it is, it likes GR.

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Thanks for posting…very useful chart.

In my orchard, Fuji does not have many problems, about the third cleanest of the 20 varieties I planted in the 1990’s. Liberty and “not MacIntosh” that still isn’t positively identified are cleaner…or were as I don’t have Liberty anymore.
And I notice Braeburn is supposed to be full of problems. It does get some fireblight and so on, but not the worst in the orchard by no means. My problem with it has always been lack of productivity…I can’t remember if it’s on M7 or a seedling root…it was said around 1990 to be a precocious but small tree on a seedling root, so I think that is what I got. It takes up space…that’s about all.