What can happen is that an apple tree loses its attractive appearance: the leaves fall off early, the tree bears less fruit, and cracks and spots appear on the trunk. The problem can come from bark disease, which is the most vulnerable part of the tree. Here's how to find out what causes the disease and how to protect the bark of apple trees from various diseases. The bark is the skin of the apple tree and should be treated immediately at the first signs of disease. You will learn more about Protect The Apple Tree's Bark From Pests Diseases by Bubgo article.
Causes Of Apple Bark Disease
The bark is an important protective layer of the tree. It is affected by sun and frost and is eaten away in winter. It may also be damaged during the pruning process. The wounds or cracks that appear on it become holes for small insects, bacteria, and a haven for larvae and fungi.
Tip: How to protect apple trees from diseases in the orchard? It is recommended to check the garden several times per season, not only for the condition of the buds, fruits, and branches but also for the protective "skin" of the tree.
To know how to eradicate the problem, you need to learn to identify the causes of the damage.
1. A scarred tree near the ground indicates that it has been eaten by rodents. Try to protect tree trunks from rodents in advance, for example by wrapping coniferous tree branches around the trunk for the winter. In the spring, remember to take the "cover" off the sash and burn it (pests are more likely to roost in it over the winter).
2. Have you noticed deep cracks in the trunk of the tree, but no discoloration inside? This is often caused by frostbite on the tree during the cold winter months. The plant itself can heal such wounds. Due to temperature fluctuations and sunburn, the wood will fall off in patches and the branches will turn pink in color. The bark of apple trees is protected by spring and autumn.
3. If there are small holes in the trunk of the tree, they should be opened and cleaned immediately. This means that the plant has been infested with pests such as glass worms, eastern carpenter moths, wood spurge moths, and pungent woodpeckers. Spraying with a lysozyme solution can help against the insects. Long-term trunk treatment is not recommended.
Tip: Paint the trunk white to protect it from temperature fluctuations and burns.
A. How to restore the protective layer of wood
Be sure to apply garden varnish to small cracks, as well as to debris left after removing broken branches. In terms of extensive damage, clean the damaged wood and then spray it with copper sulfate solution (soak 5-10 grams of granules in 100 ml of water, stir and then add 900 ml of water).
Tip: To speed up the healing of the tree, chew the damaged area with a healing mixture of clay and cowpea (1:1).
Apple Tree Bark Disease
If the fungus is not removed promptly and the plant is not treated, the bacteria will spread rapidly. The tree will begin to wilt, its immunity will weaken, and many diseases will degenerate into more dangerous ones.
If you notice brown spots in small cracks in the wood and the bark has thinned, loosened, peeled, and fallen off, then it is likely that the apple tree has been infected with black rot. If the affected area is small, cut it down immediately, treat it with a copper sulfate solution and cover it with a mixture of cowpea bark and clay. Spray the plants with a 3% Bordeaux mixture solution to eradicate any remnants of the disease.
If the black ring has branched around the trunk and scaffolding, methods of protecting the bark will not work: the plants will have to be uprooted and burned. If the cancer is delayed or not treated in time, the infection will spread to neighboring trees: in a few years, the whole orchard will be infected.
European rot spreads more slowly than black rot. However, this fungus attacks the cells of the plant. It can be identified by the growths on the trunk, which eventually die and expose the wood. The fungal spores left to overwinter will multiply rapidly and attack the tree from within. A thickening will form on the trunk with a cavity underneath. This disease is treated immediately (using the same methods as black rot).
Bacterial rot manifests itself as greenish-brown spots on the bark, which become soft and blister-like over time. Crusts appear on top of the spots: the fungus develops underneath and affects the overall condition of the tree: leaves turn black, branches wilt and flowers fade.
Bacterial cancer is treated in the same way as the first two diseases. A mixture of nitrocellulose, rosin, grass ash, and wax in equal proportions can be applied to the area that has been cleared of the infestation. The entire tree and rootstock should be treated with a fungicide. Trees with heavy infestation are best uprooted and burned.
Tip: Damage to apple trees does not always have to be eradicated. Some of this can be dealt with by the tree itself. If cracks run along the length of the skeleton branches and trunk, this may be due to the different growth rates of the outer and inner layers. And bark on mature trees that is cracked or has peeled off may be due to the renewal of the bark layer.
How do you protect the bark of your apple trees in your garden from pests and diseases? Share your experience in the comments!