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What does it mean to be a “good gardener”? Perhaps this means that only the best varieties of fruit and berry crops are collected on the personal plot? Or does the quantity and quality of the crop speak of high professionalism? In fact, these two words contain more voluminous concepts. First of all, every gardener knows that yield directly depends on compliance with the rules of care and the condition of the trees. Sick cultures will not delight you with their fruits.
Eastern wisdom says that "you need to study your enemy well, and then you will win hundreds of battles." Insect pests and diseases invariably remain the first enemies in every garden. One of these is scab on an apple tree. You will learn the description, photo and methods of treatment for this scourge from this article.
What is this disease and the causes of its occurrence
By scientific definition, scab is the most common fungal disease affecting fruit trees. The causative agent is the marsupial fungus Venturia inaequalis (Venturia unequal). Almost all gardeners are constantly fighting or using a set of preventive measures to protect their crops from the harmful effects of scab.
The disease spreads by spores that are easily carried by the wind. Birds and insects also contribute to the spread of this disease. Scab spores are so resistant that they can easily tolerate low temperatures.
Important! In no case do not use leaves fallen from apple trees with scab to shelter shrubs and trees for the winter!
The smallest particles, settling on the foliage or bark of the apple tree, begin to develop rapidly. The reproduction rate of harmful spores increases many times over at high humidity. In just 7-10 days, the signs of the disease will become so obvious that it will be very difficult not to notice them.
It is almost impossible to protect your garden from this infection. And if you do not start the fight against the scab on the apple tree in time, the consequences can be disastrous. The disease spreads very quickly, and literally within a few years it will seriously damage all the trees in the garden.
The fungus that infects apple trees eventually penetrates the bark, destroying the trunks and branches. The foliage is stained, blackened, and falls off prematurely. The branches crack and subsequently dry out.
Scab also leaves its mark on fruits: apples become covered with dark spots, which crack during ripening. Often, the fruits become small, lose their attractive, appetizing appearance. The amount of vitamins in apples decreases, their taste deteriorates.
After 2-3 years, the apple tree affected by scab weakens greatly. Its resistance to low temperatures and other diseases decreases. Moreover, it becomes a source of spread of the disease, infecting nearby trees and shrubs.
Important! The peak of the spread of fungal spores is in the spring. Therefore, many gardeners spray apple trees in early spring for prevention.
Therefore, it is very important to learn how to recognize the onset of the disease in time, to provide timely treatment and a number of preventive measures. In this case, you will protect your crops and provide your household with a harvest of delicious and aromatic apples.
Signs of the disease
The main symptom of apple scab disease - dark spots - can be easily confused with other fungal infections, such as brown spot. Therefore, you need to focus on other signs indicating the appearance of scab on an apple tree:
- first of all, the scab affects young shoots;
- first, light, olive-colored, spots with a velvety bloom appear on the leaves;
- gradually they darken, acquiring first a rusty, and then a black tint;
- numerous specks merge, the leaves crack and dry out;
- further harmful spores infect branches, trunks and fruits of the apple tree;
- the affected leaves fall off much earlier than the due date, the branches dry out;
- there is a significant deformation of the fruits: they become ugly and small, become stained, the taste is noticeably reduced.
When the first signs of scab appear on apple trees, treatment should be started as soon as possible. The sooner you start treatment, the more likely you are to get rid of the disease with minimal labor and financial costs.
Important! Before buying, pay attention to the composition of the preparations: many fungicides with different names in the base contain the same substance, to which the fungus can adapt.
There are a lot of methods of dealing with such a misfortune as scab on an apple tree. They are conventionally divided into:
- traditional, that is, using safe means;
- chemical. In this case, special agents based on potent chemicals are used.
Each of them has both its own advantages and a number of disadvantages. Which of them to use and how to treat scab on an apple tree is up to you.
Despite the fact that the market provides a huge amount of fungicides that can quickly and in a short time cope with such a fungal disease as scab on an apple tree, many summer residents still prefer to use traditional methods of combating this disease. First of all, they focus on the safety of a particular method.
But when choosing the best remedy than to treat apple trees for scab, you need to focus on the staging of the disease. If your trees are sick relatively recently, then traditional scab treatments can be applied. At the initial stage, the probability of killing the fungus is high. In advanced cases, such solutions will not cope with the disease, and then you will have to treat the scab on the apple tree with fungicides.
Salt, mustard, potassium permanganate
At the first sign of scab damage to the apple tree, use one of the following recipes. Also, these compositions can be used if the foliage is covered with light yellow or pale green spots. At this stage, it is difficult to establish what kind of disease we are talking about. But any disease is easier to cure in the initial stages.
Mustard powder has a very powerful antiseptic effect, is sold in many grocery stores and costs a penny. Moreover, it is completely safe for both apple trees and the environment, humans and pollinating insects. The treatment of apple trees from scab with mustard infusion does not at all affect the taste of the fruit.
Attention! Mustard is the strongest allergen. It is better for people with frequent allergic reactions to stop using it.
This natural remedy can be used 4-5 times during the season. This solution can be used to treat apple trees from scab during the following growing periods:
- after the first leaves have blossomed;
- during the period of bud formation, but before the flower stalks bloom;
- 10-15 days after flowering, when the first ovaries appear;
- 2-3 weeks before ripening and the planned harvest.
Dissolve 80-100 grams of mustard powder in a bucket of warm water, mix thoroughly. The resulting solution should be generously sprayed with apple trees.
Potassium permanganate solution
Potassium permanganate perfectly copes with many bacteria and fungi. The treatment of apple trees from scab should be done with a dark pink, concentrated solution no more than 3 times per season.
It is necessary to spray not only the crown and branches, but abundantly irrigate the trunk and root circle. Healthy, adjacent trees can be treated with a light pink solution of potassium permanganate for prevention.
Do not be alarmed, after processing the bark of the apple trees is covered with dark brown stains. It is safe for trees and will not harm them.
You can spray apple trees from scab with brine in early spring. Rather, this tool has a protective function. After processing, the trees lag behind in the growing season: a little later, the buds bloom, the buds appear a few days later than usual. Scab pathogens do not survive on trunks and branches covered with saline.
Dissolve a kilogram pack of salt in 8-9 liters of warm water and mix the solution thoroughly. Water the apple trees generously with the resulting product. The solution should flow down the barrel.
Advice! Often, gardeners use mineral fertilizers to process apple trees: saltpeter, potassium salt, potassium sulfate or urea.
When choosing the appropriate method, do not forget that any folk remedy for apple scab will only help if the disease is at an early stage. In more difficult cases, it is better not to waste precious time and resort to the help of chemicals.
Disease Control Chemicals
Traditional methods of scab control work, but every gardener knows that they work very slowly. Fungal disease, on the other hand, spreads very quickly, affecting neighboring trees and shrubs.
Therefore, if you need to get rid of the scab on the apple tree as soon as possible, you should take care of the choice of fungicides. Processing with special means must be carried out within strictly specified terms, adhere to the recommended dosage and do not forget about personal protective measures.
At the moment, there are many drugs on the market for apple scab, which easily destroy fungal spores and protect fruit trees from their harmful effects. But before starting processing, it is important to figure out which means are most effective, when and how to properly process trees.
When choosing fungicides, please note that with regular use of the same drug, the fungus adapts to its effects. Subsequently, seemingly powerful chemicals will be completely useless. Therefore, from time to time, preparations for scab need to be changed.
Important! On the backyard and in the garden, you can use fungicides belonging to the 3rd and 4th hazard classes, that is, moderately hazardous and low-hazard substances. The use of drugs of the 1st and 2nd class is dangerous for the health of your loved ones !!!
Before processing, you should take care of personal protective equipment. You can spray apple trees only in dry, calm weather.
It is necessary to spray the apple trees evenly, covering the branches, foliage and trunks with a thin layer of the preparation. It is imperative to process all fruit crops in the garden, including berry bushes, as well as the trunks of each tree.
The number of required treatments depends on:
- apple varieties;
- stage of the disease;
There are several preparations for scab that have proven themselves well and have earned recognition among gardeners.
"Raek" is characterized by high activity, which is due to the rapid penetration of the solution into plant tissues.
Important! Fungicides not only kill fungal spores, but also protect trees from re-infection for a long time.
To get an excellent result, you will need to process the apple trees at least 3 or 4 times:
- the first treatment is in the phase of a rosebud. Catch the moment when the flower stalks are just forming, but before they bloom.
- the second treatment - after 1.5-2 weeks.
- subsequent preventive treatments should be carried out at intervals of 1 time in 3-4 weeks.
- The total number of treatments of apple trees with this preparation is not more than 4 times.
The drug works for 3-4 weeks, it is not washed off by rain.
You can spray trees with this solution no more than 2-3 times. The drug works for 3 weeks. It is necessary to dilute the concentrate in accordance with the instructions and immediately before processing the garden.
After spraying, the emulsion solution penetrates into plant tissues within 2 hours, blocks the growth of spores, and to some extent reduces the level of sporulation.
However, it is worth remembering that "Spor" shows an excellent result only if the scab on the apple tree is at the initial stage. If the fungus on your trees has already begun to form and scatter spores on its own, the drug will be practically useless.
It is necessary to process apple-trees from scab with "Horus" twice. The first time in the green cone phase, the second time in 1-1.5 weeks.
Important! Only young apple trees can be treated with "Horus"; it is ineffective for mature trees.
As when working with any chemical substance, it is necessary to spray the apple trees with "Horus" only in a respirator, gloves, goggles and a protective suit.
"Strobi" is a universal drug with a wide spectrum of action. He is able to cure almost all known fungal diseases.
This drug is the only one of a large number of fungicides that can be used even during the flowering of apple trees. You can spray apple trees with an antifungal drug throughout the season. The final processing must be carried out at least 35-40 days before the expected harvest.
If you are faced with the question: how to treat apple trees from scab, give preference to "Strobi".
"Fitolavin" is an antibiotic that fights scab on apple and other fruit trees. In addition, it has a broad spectrum of action against many pathogens of fungal diseases. The maximum number of treatments is no more than 4 times.
The effect of the drug lasts for 2-3 weeks. It has a curative effect and subsequently protects trees from re-infection.
Important! When spraying apple trees with "Fitolavin" more often than 2-3 times within 2 months, fungi and bacteria become immune to its action.
The fungicide provides apple trees with high-quality and fairly reliable protection for up to 20-25 days. Compared to other antifungal drugs, "Fitolavin" is environmentally friendly. You can spray trees with it even 7-10 days before the planned harvest.
Among gardeners "Fitolavin" has earned only positive reviews.
Good results are obtained by treating apple trees from scab with Bordeaux liquid. It is necessary to spray the trees with this solution in early spring very abundantly so that the drug drips from the branches and leaves in drops. After processing, the apple trees are covered with a bluish bloom. Therefore, sprinkling of apple trees with Bordeaux liquid is called "blue irrigation".
Timing and processing of trees
Apple trees can be processed almost at any time of the year, except for winter. Gardeners usually start their first spraying in early spring, when the snow has just melted and the weather is warm. Spring work can be carried out until the apple trees begin to bloom abundantly. Otherwise, you may be left without a crop.
You can resume processing the garden 2-3 weeks after the end of flowering, when the formed fruits will be clearly visible on the branches. All spring work in the garden must be checked with the instructions for using the tool you decide to use. It is important to maintain the allotted time between treatments so as not to harm the apple trees.
Advice! If you do not have Bordeaux liquid, you can treat apple trees from scab with the Hom fungicide.
In the summer, the garden can be cultivated almost at any time. When spraying early varieties of apple trees, stop the treatment at least 3-4 weeks before the fruit begins to ripen.
But in the fall, you need to start working in the garden no earlier than the last harvest is harvested. You can combine spraying apple trees with autumn work, such as pruning and processing branches, harvesting leaves and other activities.
Before you get rid of scab on apple trees, remember that in the fall you can use more powerful and concentrated solutions without fear of harming the trees.
In addition to treating trees, you need to regularly carry out a set of measures aimed at preventing the spread of the disease:
Important! Do not spray apple trees with fungicides at an air temperature of more than + 30˚С.
You should not miss such important events as spring and autumn whitewashing, as well as the treatment of apple trees for the purpose of prevention.
The author of the video will tell you how to deal with scab on apple trees.
It is difficult to fight such an insidious disease as scab on an apple tree. But if you follow the above rules, you will protect your garden from this scourge, and apple trees will thank you for taking care of a rich harvest of fragrant and juicy apples.