Several Apple Problems; please help


Looking for some help in my small orchard. I planted a few trees in the Fall of 2015, Spring of 2016 and Spring of 2017. So, none of the trees are very old. I’ve been keeping a photo album of all the issues I’ve been seeing so please see the link for photos.

I think I have several things going against me and I’m not sure where to start or what to do. I was in touch with my local university extension but the guy, with whom I was communicating, seems to have dropped off the face of the planet.

Things I think/know I have:

  • I think I have some of the same ailments as what @PA_Fruit_Grower photographed in another thread. I can’t tell if it’s a calcium deficiency or something else.
  • I know I have Cedar Apple Rust (CAR) but I know CAR doesn’t typically hurt the trees too bad.
  • I may also have Frogeye leaf spot.
  • I see damage from Japanese beetles.

Does anyone else see anything I’m missing or failed to mention?

The sprays I’m using (listed below) don’t seem to do a lot to help. Am I using the wrong product(s)? Is there something better/stronger?

Sprays I’m using:

  • Agri-Fos (systemic fungicide applied every 8-12 weeks)
  • Bonide Fruit Tree Spray (foliar spray applied every week or so - weather permitting)
  • Monterey Fruit Tree & Vegetable Systemic Soil Drench (systemic insecticide applied annually)

I use Stark’s Tre-Pep a couple times in the spring and early summer to help with root development. I dropped about 10-20 pounds of mulched manure around the drip-line of the trees a few months ago. I typically spread some high-calcium lime around the drip-line of the trees a couple times a year - especially when I know there’s a good, soaking rain coming.

I’m trying to get a handle on these issues but, as you can see from those photos, I’m failing. I visit local orchards and see big, healthy leaves and then I come home to see my trees and cringe. My great-grandfather grew apples. My grandfather grew apples. My father grows apples elsewhere in the state. What am I missing or doing wrong??


Hi William. At the top of the home page of the forum, under Growing Fruit, you’ll see a categories drop-down. The last two listed, Guides and Reference, contain several threads that you’ll find useful.

I’d recommend you get a soil test before applying any additional fertilizers or soil amendments. Over application of one nutrient can inhibit up-take of another, even if that other nutrient is readily available in your soil.

The Low Impact Spray schedules are helpful for learning frequency of application and effective products. More specific information can be found throughout the forum by searching (hour-glass, top right), so for you CAR, Frog Eye Leaf Spot (Black Rot), etc.

I’ve used Bonide Fruit Tree spray in the past and found it burns new growth. I discontinued using it because of the foliar damaged it caused, but I know others here have used it. Annual application of high calcium lime could be adjusting your pH negatively and excess calcium can inhibit uptake of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, boron, copper, iron, & zinc.

I assume you’re in Pennsylvania. Penn State has a great apple program and you should be able to find several publications at their website.


Well, that’s the thing; I don’t know what all I have so didn’t know what to search for. I was only speculating about the various ailments - except for CAR. Recommend any good soil testing tools?


I don’t recommend the home tests. Usually your extension service will have soil testing available. Here in NY State Dairy One is the service provider.


I think you do have frog eyed leaf spot. Here’s what Penn State says.

Start with soil is is a good idea. Your trees are 3-5 years old but don’t seem to thrive. Like Andy said, get a soil test from an extension service is best.

There are several members here who live in PA. Hope they will chime in.

You have a good resource at Penn State. The local u. guy you contact is from Penn State? Lot of time these extension services are geared toward commercial growers but PennStae has info fro home growers, too.

Another good resouce near you is Cornell, the ag school.


Thanks, folks! I was already reading up on the soil testing process on PSU’s site.

Yes, @mamuang, the guy was from PSU - Berks Extension. We went back and forth several times and then he ghosted me. Not sure if he no longer works there but my last email was never replied to. I guess I never thought about pinging other schools outside my area. Cornell is four hours north of me so I figured a closer school/source would be better. Moreover, I pinged a local orchard for info and they steered me toward the local PSU Extension.


While you try to reach those ag agent, you can read up articles those uni have put out. I tagged Alan @alan here as he knows a lot about apples and spray.

Also, if you use an arrow symbol on top of a dialog box, you will be able to post pics directly here without a link to an album. New members have limited numbers of pics they can post. I think one pic for each post.

If you have difficuty finding the Reference or Guides categories, let us know.


The main thing I would recommend is some myclobutanil (immunox is a common version) applied after bloom next year and maybe again two weeks later. It looks like most of the problem is various leaf diseases, other than that I don’t see any issues. They need earlier sprays, no need to spray now as it is too late for this year. I would not use any soil drench or lime or anything else other than general fertilizer until you find a problem needing solving.


I’m looking at the form they want to have filled out. Do I need any of the extra tests or do I just need their basic test?

From the aforementioned form:

The standard fertility report includes results for pH, acidity, Mehlich 3 phosphorus, potassium,
calcium, and magnesium and lime and fertilizer recommendations. The nitrogen recommendation
is based on crop response.

Screen-shot of the area of the form in question: