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h2o
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Location: Surrey, BC

Apples with Black Spots or Lumps

This is my gardener redemption story #3.

My 5 meters tall apple tree still produced apples 3 years back. But for last 2 years, there were no apple I can keep the doctor away. Although she did bear fruits, but the fruits either got black spots or got lumps on the them. When you saw it, it will make you feel sick actually. :cry:

I think she did not feel good so I applied some solutions to it. But she still looks very sick as today. Here are the symptoms I observed.
1. 2 out of the 3 main trunks, it lost significant portion of tree barks. See pictures.
2. A lot of moss grow on the tree trunk and branches. I think there are fungi on branches as well. See pictures.
3. Around 10% of new leaves started have holes on them and some even started turning yellow.

Here were the solutions I tried to get her back to normal for the last 2 years. But it sounds I was not on the right direction.
1. I applied Scotts Bug-B-Gon Insecticidal Soap. Tree barks started falling significantly.
2. I tried Dormant Spray Kit . I applied both Lime Sulphur and Horticultural Oil according to the instruction last year. But fruits became worse.

I want to be smarter this year. So my question are:
a) Are these caused by 1 root cause? Or multiple root causes?
b) What are the best solution to get her back to it's normal and give us the fruit to keep the doctor away.

Thanks to the tree doctors.

New gardener need redemption.
Attachments
Eaten new leaves on high branches.
Eaten new leaves on high branches.
New but sick leaves turning yellow. Bug bites? Also see while spots on branches. Could it be fungi? Mosses on branches too.
New but sick leaves turning yellow. Bug bites? Also see while spots on branches. Could it be fungi? Mosses on branches too.
Bared tree trunk and mosses
Bared tree trunk and mosses
When you turned to the back, you will see significant portion of trunk had lost it's barks.
When you turned to the back, you will see significant portion of trunk had lost it's barks.
My 5 meters tall apple tree. Looks ok from the front.
My 5 meters tall apple tree. Looks ok from the front.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Apple Tree Can't Keep The Doctor Away. Any Doctor Can He

I hate to keep being the bearer of bad tidings. I don't know what happened to your tree. Perhaps JONA or one of our other regulars with orchard experience will come along and be able to tell you that. But a tree that has lost much of its bark and has moss (or more likely lichens) growing on the bare trunk is a dead/ dying tree.

As with the juniper, it seems like you rushed in to doing things (pruning, applying "solutions") without knowing what you are doing. There is a lot to learn about caring for a lot of different trees and plants. You need to slow down and read and ask questions first.
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applestar
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Re: Apple Tree Can't Keep The Doctor Away. Any Doctor Can He

Oh sad looking tree!

I agree the white "spots" are lichen and that in itself is not always bad and healthy trees can live with lichen on its bark. But the moss means the bark is moist all the time... which probably means dying branches. The bare trunk explains that. I'm thinking maybe deer damage to have th bark stripped away like that?

And "bark" is not just a protective layer for the trunk. The inner bark -- and the smoothness of the bare areas indicate that's gone too -- is where the "circulatory system" of the trees is located. If this tree is alive at all, it's functioning via the remaining phloem and xylem that is connecting the roots to the branches/leaves.

I don't know what proportion of the bark can be lost while the tree remains alive, but for fruit production and such, I would think any loss can cause impact.

This maybe why the tree is vulnerable to pest attack -- it's probably signaling that it is weakened. I can't tell what specifically is creating the holes though. But note that slugs will climb apple trees so they are within the list of possible culprits in addition to some kind of caterpillar and beetle.

-- that central trunk (which really shouldn't be there anyway -- looks like a goner and needs to be cut. Is there one branch/trunk that is not so severely compromised? Looking in the direction of the fence, the farthest/right most one looks better than the other two? The one on the left, looks like there is an intact branch below the stripped bark? What does the base of the tree look like?
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

JONA878
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Re: Apple Tree Can't Keep The Doctor Away. Any Doctor Can He

I think that the poor tree is suffering from a very severs attack of Paper Canker.
It's fairly common in small amounts and some varieties do seem more prone than others. The Worcester Vars. Pearmain and Tydemans Early seem to be particularly vulnerable to it.

Usually it is relatively small areas and can be removed and painted and the edges of the damaged area scar up and the tree seems non the worse for the attack.
Your tree though seems to have suffered a real dose and like all Cankers the tree can carry the infection in its Cambium and this can then break out in other places on the tree.

The Paper Canker itself will sporolate as the fungus ripens on the damaged bark and this will then spread spores by water splash and wind to other parts of the tree as well.
I guess your poor tree is on the way out I'm afraid.
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

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h2o
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Location: Surrey, BC

Re: Apple Tree Can't Keep The Doctor Away. Any Doctor Can He

Sorry for taking a week to get back to every one. One of my close friend's mom past away on Tuesday. And I am honored to be in charge of the funeral service coordination. My friends take higher priority than my garden.

To applestar, eventually got time and good timing to take pictures of the full trunk. Please see 4 full trunk pictures from different sides. Is there a surgery required?

To Jona878, My apple tree is still blooming. Is this a sign that I still got chance to reverse the damage of cranker?
Here are the two articles I found about paper cranker. Are they relevant to my case?
1. Apple canker https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=63
2. Canker diseases and root rots https://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/cro ... canker.htm
Attachments
Tree trunk from bottom - side 4
Tree trunk from bottom - side 4
Tree trunk from bottom - side 3
Tree trunk from bottom - side 3
Tree trunk from bottom - side 2
Tree trunk from bottom - side 2
Tree trunk from bottom - side 1
Tree trunk from bottom - side 1
My apple tree still bloom while got sick badly. Is it a miracle or normal?
My apple tree still bloom while got sick badly. Is it a miracle or normal?

JONA878
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Re: Apple Tree Can't Keep The Doctor Away. Any Doctor Can He

Hi h2o...Your tree will desperately continue as long as it can. In fact growers are aware that a tree that 'thinks' it is dying, will crop as heavily as it can. It's natures way of survival. That's why drastic bark ringing and heavy root pruning can jolt a tree into fruit production.
However I can see from your pictures that the tree has a lot of die back already happening on shoots at the top of the tree as well as the damage to the main trunk and branch bark.
So...I think that there is very little you can do to stop the damage getting progressively worse. It's just a matter of time and whether you can wait for the tree to eventually die grub and re-plant. If you are leaving it, then try to burn any leaves, prunings etc, that you get from the tree as they will carry the disease spores on them.
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

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