Most verdant and disease resisting apple trees in your orchard are...? I have gone no-spray this year. No pesticides or fungicies (OK and not many apples, guess this is the off year)

I will happily share Snow seeds with anyone interested but it will have to wait until fall 2022. I will put up a post when they are available :deciduous_tree:

We were 100% spray free on about 700 dwarf trees for a 2 year test. About 20 varieties including some heritage and some “disease free” PRI varieties. Used typical commercial spray schedules for 7 previous years. Had some good years but lost most apples 2 years in a row with record breaking rainfall using a 14 day schedule.

No dormant oil, no copper, fungicide or insecticide during 2 year test

Year 1- All varieties failed except Old Fashion Winesap. Mostly due to rot
Year 2 - All varieties failed including OFW. CAR was so bad on OFW it deformed and destroyed fruit


Camack’s Sweet is looking fine…has not been sprayed all year (except a deer repellent).
Hoping for fruit finally next year…Tree from Tom Brown about 2015 on M111.

One limb on Braeburn has fireblight on tip.
Neighbor’s Snow tree looked nearly defoliated.
Others on my list still looking good.

I’m always impressed by how trouble free my Northern Spy’s are- Antonovka’s as well.
Feral Duchess are more variable, but also pretty trouble free.
All three of those are just as easy to keep as ‘Liberty’ for me.

A new one this year is ‘Gideon’ from MOFGA/Fedco, which looks to be very robust, but hasn’t fruited yet. It’s one of Peter Gideon’s stock, and more properly called ‘Early Gideon’, since he himself did in order to distinguish it from his “Gideon Late”.

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So, you’re saying that really nothing looks good this time of year without regular spraying?
At your location, anyhow?

Located in central NC zone 7B. Humidity is normally so bad during the bloom period that no rain is required to create a big FB problem. The grass and trees are normally saturated with dew

We returned to typical spray schedule this year but increased the interval between sprays during periods with no rain to reduce chemical use as much as possible. Also, we sprayed no Strep or Apogee for fireblight this year which produced a lot FB but the trees were old enough to tolerate it. Did not try to cut it out as it developed but plan to remove as much as possible in the fall.

Bottom line is that it’s just about impossible to grow sellable apples in my area with zero synthetic chemicals.

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There’s something I can relate to, it sounds like my climate. Re: Northern Spy for example, those things turn into rotted mush balls on the tree here and that is even with a few sprays. This year I think only Hunge, Yates, Pristine, and Rambour d’Hiver out of 50 or so varieties are looking totally clean (minus the bug damage). Many are mostly clean so are perfectly fine, but a good chunk would not be sellable.

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I get a lot of the rotted mush balls just like you describe. Then the rotten apples fall on the ground and become a source of infection for next season. Bitter Rot destroys the fruit and and a similar fungi called Glomerella causes the trees to drop the leaves. Takes an expensive fungicide like Merivon to manage the rots late in the season.

Lots of rain and high humidity makes apple growing hard but it’s a lot better than constant forest fires that are becoming so common in dry areas


Linking my discussion about leaf spot diseases. Seems to be fungal marssonia vs septoria or something else.

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I’d like to add another vote for Hunge, a probable NC native, here. It and Hauer Pippin are consistently the cleanest apples in my orchard, but the latter may (or may not) require too long a growing season to ripen for you. Hunge, by contrast, is relatively early.

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