Recent new customer of our has this crab apple tree in the centre of their garden - right in the middle of the lawn - however it looks very unwell and apparently has been getting worse over the last few years (we have only started work at the property recently).

They have much sentimental attachment to the tree and they would like to keep it if at all possible.

Leaves mottled and cured, with distinct spotting and discoloration. Has probably dropped 25% of its leaves in the last fortnight or so.

I think it is 'Apple Scab' - which I gather can be difficult/impossible to cure?

There is also some badly healed trunk damage lower down where it would appear to have been struck hard with a mower at some point some years ago.

Tree is around 20-25ft high, so spraying could be difficult (although not impossible).

Anyone else with any ideas of problem/possible cure?

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  • can you strip a bit of the bark off?, fire blight is active at this part of the season, if you take a bit of the bark off the outer wood is stained brow then thats your culprit. if it is then follow below

    Copied off the rhs site - Prune out and burn infections promptly, peeling back the bark to reveal the brown staining and cutting back 30cm (1ft) to healthy wood in smaller branches, 60cm (2ft) in larger ones. Wipe pruning tools with disinfectant (Jeyes Fluid or methylated spirit) between cuts to avoid spreading the bacteria. Remove secondary, late blossoms before they open.

  • PRO Supplier

    Fireblight will also normally show as black, shrivelled tips to shoots - like somebody has burnt it.

    Apple scab more likely as it accelerates with wet & humid conditions which we have had on/ off in Lincs over the past few weeks (I have powdery mildew on flowering currants at home) treat with fungicide at bud burst then +3 weeks after.


    Richard@ Progreen
    (01778) 394052

  • PRO Supplier

    Might be apple scab. If it is, all is not lost, but good garden hygiene is needed over winter to help get it under control. I wrote about what to do, with links to factsheets,

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