Strange apricot sickness

My apricot flowered very well this year, and set fruit well. However, I noticed that small twigs with already opened leaves started to wilt. I blamed immunox spray I applied with concentration made for apples. The sickness didn’t progress much, so I stopped thinking about it. Yesterdsy I drove by a large apricot tree in the neighborhood, that also flowered wonderfully this year. The tree seemed 95 percent dead. Just few little branches going directly from low trunk had leaves. The rest was brown. That tree is pretty much neglected, no sprays, I never saw it set fruit, but it always looked healthy, though looking old. We had very wet fall and record wet and cold spring, but no late frost. I start to think my apricot issues could be the same problem, as one that killed that big tree. What could it be?

This looks like monilia laxa bacteria. It’s not too common in USA yet but in Europe it’s the biggest threat to apricots and in some areas you need to spray every year otherwise the apricots die. The wilting starts with smaller branches and eventually affects the bigger branches as well till the tree dies. It affects mostly apricots and tart cherries but occasionally also regular cherries and peaches too. I think it’s called european brown rot in US. It’s usually accompanied with canker. Just try to look it up if it resembles your symptoms. I think @BobVance had similar issues with his apricot tree in the past


I agree with Paul, this is a classic case of Monilinia (except it might be Monilinia fructicola rather than Monilinia laxa, but these two are closely related). UC Davis calls this disease “Brown Rot Blossom and Twig Blight”. I don’t think it’s uncommon in the US, just less recognized because apricots are less often grown in wet climates. Even in some areas of California it is encountered during wet springs, especially when it rains during the bloom time.


This is exactly how it looks like! One more disease to fight - I am loosing count of them…