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Apple Canker


The two big apple trees that were here when we came have been causing me some concern and I was unsure what to do about them.

The first spring we were here, they blossomed beautifully, really lovely they were, and then by July almost every leaf had dropped and there were no fruit. The problem was Scab.

The second spring I sprayed them with fungicide and we managed to keep the leaves on the trees for the full season. But still no apples. The trees got a good pruning in the hope that this would rejuvenate them.

But while I was doing this heavy prune, I noticed a number of deep and nasty looking lesions on both trees, and this is when I realised we had Canker. :(

This is from the BBC Gardening Website:

Apple canker infects apple, pear, mountain ash, beech, hawthorn, poplar and willow. Some varieties are more susceptible than others.

Apple cankers occur when the fungus Nectria galligena finds its way into cracks and wounds in tree bark.
The infection will kill the tissue beneath the bark first.
The bark around the canker will eventually die back revealing the tissue.
Damage from pruning can also become infected.
Fungal spores appear creamy white in the spring and a darker red colour later in the year.
Spores can move between wounds by wind, water splash, or insect.
Wet soil exacerbates the infection.
Mild infections still allow some fruit to set.
Severe infections can rarely be cured and the tree may die.
The more infected and exposed areas a tree has, the more susceptible it is to further damage and infections.

There are some procedures and treatments that can help with Canker, but sadly my trees are pretty poorly and probably have been for years. The Canker can be seen growing right in to the branches down the centre of each cross section as I pruned it. It shows as dark brown areas in the wood. I finally made the decision yesterday to count my losses and pollarded them both, leaving enough structure to support the rambling roses and Wisteria that are growing up them. And of course, to hang the hammock.

The garden looks quite different now…a bit more exposed than before. But there will be a lot less shade cast on the lawn, and hopefully the Rambling Roses and Wisteria will grow better as a result of the increased light. I gave both trees a really good feed (mainly for the roses) after cutting them. The wood has been prepared for burning on the Log burner.

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Its really good to know you sometimes take a little time off in that inviting hammock!
Its horrid to find you have canker but you have to bite the bullet and get rid. Sending sympathy -the same thing happened to my damson tree.

26 Aug, 2019 was a pointless battle Stera. We were never going to overcome it. Hey ho.

26 Aug, 2019


Oh dear, funny you should post this Karen, as you know we removed one apple tree a couple of years back, I'm now concerned about our other one, its loaded with apples but a lot of them from one side have what I think is scab, I have inspected said tree thoroughly and one bough has a hole and a very deep crack in it, the rest appears to be okay, we will have to see what the tree tells us when we remove that bough, hubby is all for removing it completely but I'm hoping it won't come to that...

27 Aug, 2019


Hmmm.....sounds very familiar Sue! I hope you get a better outcome than us. I had hoped the trees would rejuvenate, but I was being naive. The Discovery Apple Tree we have, which crops beautifully, also has a huge lesion right near the bottom of the trunk. I fear it is living on borrowed time.

27 Aug, 2019


Oh dear, that is where our other tree had gone Karen, I'm praying this one will be alright, the bough is a big one but its low on the tree and we do smack our heads occasionally on it when cutting the grass, I have asked for it to be removed many times, could turn out to be a blessing in disguise...

27 Aug, 2019


Us gardeners can always make a blessing out of a loss. Its part of the job isn’t it. :)

27 Aug, 2019


Sometimes you just have to accept a plant or tree must go. Just see it as a new opportunity, Karen
Of course you will have to go to the garden centre and buy new plants.That will be a very difficult task.

27 Aug, 2019


Ha ha Linda! I think plant buying is over....for August! ;)

27 Aug, 2019


That's sad to read, I remember you talking about these trees when you first moved in, and I said if it was me I would get rid of them, but you preserved, so you gave it your best shot!....( ・ั﹏・ั) and that's all you can do!! ♡(ӦvӦ。)

28 Aug, 2019


Sometimes you just want to change things up. It's your privilege. I'm sure you'll come up with something spectacular as usual. I cannot see your photos Karen. Hopefully the issue will be corrected.

30 Aug, 2019


Thanks Bathgate. I have reported it.

30 Aug, 2019


I think you should just re-load your photos.

31 Aug, 2019

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