Diseases of apricot trees and their treatment
Apricot is considered a rather whimsical fruit crop, which under adverse climatic conditions or violations of the basic agrotechnical rules of care is often affected by various fungal and infectious ailments. What are the diseases of the apricot and how to conduct an effective fight against them - further in the article.
Diseases of apricot trees, their description and causes
Apricot belongs to the category of photophilous and hygrophilous plants, needs nutritious and breathable soils. It is quite capricious in care and can often suffer from various diseases. At the same time, viral and infectious diseases can affect all parts of the culture: the bark, leaves, buds, fruits. In order to deal with the treatment of the disease, it is necessary to clearly know its main symptoms and causes.
Moniliosis, or monilial burn, is the most common ailment affecting apricots. This is a fungal disease, the causative agent of which is the marsupial fungus monilia. Processing apricot from moniliosis is carried out several times throughout the growing season. Important! You can distinguish fruit rot from other similar diseases by the random placement of black spots on the fetus.
The disease can occur in two forms:
- Monilial burn . As a rule, the first form is most often manifested in spring, during the flowering period of the culture and is characterized by twisting of flowers, their further death. In the process of propagation of the fungus, foliage mummifies, cracks form on the branches, which the tree tries to “patch” by isolating a special liquid - gum. Outwardly, the culture looks alive, but as if burnt. Warm and humid winters, as well as sharp temperature jumps during the flowering period of the plant, are considered to be favorable conditions for the development of fungal disease.
- Fruit rot . The second phase of the disease can overtake a tree in the summer, when at first a small dark spot forms on the fetus, which gradually transforms into putrefactive areas. Unfortunately, it is already impossible to save the fruit affected by rot, which is why the summer resident needs to take all measures to eliminate the disease at the first stage.
In spring time:
- all damaged areas of the tree are cut with the capture of healthy tissue about 8-10 cm;
- infected branches, leaves, bark are completely destroyed by burning;
- after 1-2 weeks, a visual inspection of the plant is carried out and when the affected areas are identified, they are cut;
- in the phase of swelling of the kidneys, the culture is sprayed with a 3% solution of Bordeaux fluid, vitriol or any other mixture containing copper;
- after flowering, the apricot is treated with a Horus solution, and then every 1.5 weeks it is sprayed with fungicidal preparations, for example, Nitrafen, Confidor. Any treatment procedures are stopped two weeks before harvesting the fruit.
When the tree is affected by fruit rot, all infected fruits are plucked and destroyed. The next year, the tree affected by moniliosis is freed from most of the crop, thorough thinning and removal of branches is carried out. Did you know? In the world there are more than 20 hybrid forms of apricot. In this case, the most surprising and unusual is the hybrid called “black apricot”, obtained by crossing cherry plum and apricot fruit. Effective preventive measures against the disease are:
- soil moisture control;
- avoidance of too much thickening of landings;
- conducting timely pruning of shoots;
- timely cleaning of the site from weeds;
- disinfecting the plant from parasites that can tolerate fungal spores.
Often on the apricot you can notice sticky thick secretions in the form of resin or glue, diluted with the juice of the plant. Such excreting masses are called gum, which is designed to close the wounds on the tree, like an adhesive plaster. The phenomenon, which is characterized by abundant gumming, is called hommosis. Wounds that form on the apricot for various reasons are an excellent source for the reproduction of various fungi and bacteria that destroy wood. Nonetheless, gum-dropping takes away vitality from culture and weakens immunity.
Gum formation can be prevented if the tree is properly looked after:
- prevent mechanical damage to the cortex;
- Do not injure branches;
- do not prune shoots during sap flow;
- apply only zoned cultivars for cultivation.
An excellent prophylaxis of gummosis is considered to be whitewashing of the trunk and skeletal branches, which is carried out three times a year: in autumn, in the middle of winter and in spring. The cessation of the release of gum also contributes to a balanced calcium content of the soil.
It should be noted that there are a lot of reasons for the appearance of gum therapy in apricot, as well as ways to combat it. Therefore, before taking any agrotechnical measures to eliminate it, it is necessary to accurately determine the causes of the ailment. It should be understood that a healthy tree in the absence of stress does not emit gum and it does not need to be cleaned of glue. Read why an apricot tree does not bear fruit.
Scab is a rather dangerous infectious disease caused by fungi or bacteria that winter in infected leaves that have fallen in autumn . With the advent of spring, fungal spores through airflows can travel long distances and infect healthy trees located several meters from the source of infection. During the progression of the fungus, the apricot is disturbed by water balance, fruiting is significantly reduced, leaves begin to turn yellow and fall, ripened fruits lose marketable look and deform.
Methods of treating a tree for scab will depend on the degree of its damage. If the gardener managed to detect the disease in time, then he will be able to completely get rid of the disease through the purchased drugs. Unfortunately, with too advanced forms of the disease, when the fungus has managed to infect the root system, it is unlikely that the plant can be saved. Important! Experts do not advise to consume fruits affected by scab, because even after heat treatment the spores of the pathogen can remain on the skin and in the pulp. A quite effective way to treat apricot is considered to be spraying with a solution of Bordeaux fluid or other copper-containing preparations. Experienced summer residents also use modern fungicidal agents against scab, for example, Fitosporin, Skor, Hom. To destroy the fungus, at least two sprayings should be carried out: before the appearance of the ovaries and in the phase of ripening of the fruits.
An excellent prevention of the described disease is competent plant care:
- proper watering and avoiding excessive moisture;
- annual pruning of shoots;
- selection of varieties characterized by high resistance to the described disease;
- destruction of the source of the disease in the first stages of infection;
- cleaning vegetation and rotten fallen fruits in the autumn.
One of the most dangerous fungal diseases that can cause the complete death of apricot is cytosporosis, the causative agent of which is located between the wood and the bark. Under the harmful influence of the fungus, the tissue of the culture begins to collapse: the leaves on the tops of the tree fade, the bark is covered with brown-brown spots, dark streaks form on the tree. Gradually, the fungus affects the entire plant: the leaves turn yellow, dry out and fall off, the shoots dry out, the apricot dies.
In order to prevent the death of culture, it is necessary at the initial stage of the ailment to trim the affected branches, parts of the bark and be sure to utilize the material by burning it. Unfortunately, the tree can be treated only at the first stages of infection, when the spores of the fungus did not have time to penetrate the cambium. Sick sections of the bark are cut off, and the places of the cuts are treated with a solution of copper sulfate and garden var. To prevent the disease in spring and summer, the plants are sprayed with Bordeaux liquid.
Features of apricot processing in the spring from diseases and pests
The main care for the apricot orchard is in the spring, when the trees come out of hibernation and are actively preparing for the new fruiting season. Since plants belong to the category of crops with early vegetation, care for them should begin in the last weeks of March. Did you know? In ancient times, in Japan, tea tables were made from apricot wood, which were intended for dignitaries. However, the most famous oriental work from the described tree are folding fans for women. In order to protect the tree from parasites and ailments, a number of protective measures are carried out in the spring. First of all, in early April, whitewashing of the trunk and skeletal branches is carried out with a special solution, which consists of: 1 kg of lime, 200 g of copper sulphate and 8 l of pure water.
Three times during the spring period, prophylactic spraying of the crown with fungicidal preparations is carried out. In this case, it is very important not only to know which drugs to use, but also when to sift through the tree:
- the first time - before budding;
- the second - during the formation of buds;
- the third - immediately after flowering.
Processing plants is carried out on a sunny, windless day. At the same time, they carry out the processing of the culture from pests, using compatible insecticidal agents, for example, Karbofos, Actellik, and BI-58. Important! When spraying a plant with chemicals, they need to be alternated in order to avoid the addiction of pests and pathogens to drugs.
Most often, the plant becomes a victim of attacks:
- aphids - affects young shoots and leaves, eats plant juice and, at the same time, can be a carrier of fungal infections;
- codling moths - a butterfly that hibernates in a cocoon under the bark of a tree or in the soil of a tree trunk, when spring comes, it gets out of the shelter and actively parasitizes. The pest eats apricot fruits, as a result of which they are deformed;
- leaflets - in the spring the parasite eats leaves and buds of the culture, and in the summer, after pupation, it becomes a butterfly and lays eggs on leaf plates and young shoots.
To protect capricious apricot from parasites and various ailments, he needs to provide comprehensive care, which includes a number of activities - agricultural, protective, biological and chemical: Find out how and what you can plant apricot on.
- timely and thorough pruning of shoots in spring and autumn;
- prevention of thickening of the crown;
- mandatory preventive spraying of the tree in the spring, before the phase of budding, with fungicides;
- tree trunk care: weed control, soil loosening and mulching;
- control of soil moisture and fertilizer dosages;
- maintaining a comfortable neighborhood. You can not plant apricot close to tobacco, strawberries, potatoes, tomatoes and other nightshade crops;
- thorough shelter of the tree for the winter, preventing sudden changes in temperature indicators of air;
- systematic visual inspection of the culture to identify symptoms of diseases or the presence of parasites;
- timely removal and destruction of affected tissues: leaves, fruits, branches;
- strict adherence to the instructions for the treatment of a specific ailment in case of its occurrence.
Preventive treatment of the apricot orchard from diseases and parasites is an integral part of plant care. To get a decent harvest of delicious and aesthetically attractive apricots, you need to be extremely attentive to the trees and provide them with competent care. Did you know? Turkey is considered the leader in growing apricots today. The second place belongs to Iran, but Uzbekistan takes the honorable third place. Timely identification of pests or the first signs of ailments will not only save good fruiting in plants, but also, possibly, save them from death.