Magazine article Sunset

When Brown Rot Attacks Your Summer Fruit

Magazine article Sunset

When Brown Rot Attacks Your Summer Fruit

Article excerpt

When brown rot attacks your summer fruit

Summer brings an unwelcome guest tomany fruit trees: brown rot. This disease, caused by the Monilia fungus, strikes apricots, nectarines, peaches, plums, and other stone fruits. Maturing fruit develops soft brown areas that gradually spread until they affect the entire fruit.

As the disease progresses, fruits mayshrivel and eventually develop white powdery spores. These shriveled fruits are called "mummies.'

Over the winter, brown rot spores cansurvive on the mummies and the dormant branches. If conditions are mild and damp the following spring, the spores may infect emerging blossoms and, through them, reinfect the branches. First symptoms are collapse and blackening of blossoms, and shriveling of embryo fruit. Branches and twigs may crack and ooze sap.

To stop this cycle of invasion

Clean up all affected fruit that hasdropped to the ground, as well as fallen leaves that might harbor the spores. Be sure to remove any rotten or shriveled fruit and blighted twigs still on the tree. Place this infected material into a bag, seal, and discard. Don't put any diseased fruit or foliage in your compost pile. …

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