Canker and sulphur.

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by Margaret, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. Margaret

    Margaret Active Member 10 Years

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    Each year my apples, Spy I think, are hit with what I think is canker. It is brown in colour and causes "sores" on the skin and hardness in the flesh. An apple can look perfect from underneath or on the area facing inwards to the trunk but the outside looks awful. I am not happy about using any chemicals in my garden but do wrap the tree trunk with a goey strip to catch the ants and other beasties which are always in evidence. The planter of the tree, whom we bought the house from, used to spray with sulphur (we inherited the antique sprayer and a tub of sulphur). Is spraying the only solution to the canker? I react badly to sulphur in wine and antibiotics so as well as trying to garden organically I would either have to get my none gardening husband to spray or try to borrow a suit from NASA!!
    Any advice would be gratefully received.
    Margaret
    PS How is all the rain we have had on the Sunshine Coast going to inpact the gardens? What should i be looking out for?
     
  2. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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  3. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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  4. Margaret

    Margaret Active Member 10 Years

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    Many thanks Jimmy. Yes it certainly looks like scab and now that I know what it is I have a chance of controlling it. Thanks for telling me about the web page - very informative.
    Margaret
     
  5. silver_creek

    silver_creek Active Member

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    Margaret, timing is crucial if you want to minimize the amount of sulphur you spray. We control scab quite well with 2 sprays, one at pre-pink, before the flower buds show color, and the second at petal fall. The first spray we use lime sulphur; the second we use wettable, or elemental sulphur (lime sulphur can burn off the protofruits on some varieties). Wear a face mask, long sleeves, long pants, rubber gloves, full hair coverage or you will smell like sulphur for days! Sulphur is still considered organic, but it will acidify your orchard soil if you spray too often.
     
  6. Margaret

    Margaret Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Terry. Thanks for the info. I think that my next step will to find someone locally who will spray as I react badly to sulphur. Do you know if the sprays are dangerous to cats and dogs? We are experiencing almost daily rain and I should imagin that the spores will be bad this year?
    Margaret
     
  7. silver_creek

    silver_creek Active Member

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    The amount of rain from bud break to petal fall is the determining factor- this much rain this time of year does not affect the scab spores- they need the warmer spring temps to germinate. There is also some anecdotal evidence that applying dolomite lime to the soil during bloom time will also help supress scab spores. And of course, cleaning up the fallen leaves in the fall and disposing of them, by burying or burning(not composting) can help remove some of the source. Unfortunately, scab is a fact of life for the maritime climate- it's one of the main reasons that commercial fruit is difficult on the we(s)t side. Sulphur has not had any noticible effect on my pets.
     
  8. Dee M.

    Dee M. Active Member 10 Years

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    And if you ever plant new trees, there are varieties that are resistant so you don't have to spray.
     
  9. Margaret

    Margaret Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks again for the input.
    Funny you should say that because we are going to dispose of a snow apple (think that that is the name - very early, pappy, tastless and keeps for about 3 days) and I would be very grateful for any suggestions for a replacement. The present tree grows on a south west facing site about five feet away from the garage wall. There are two cherries, a hazlenut and a green/yellow apple, which I think is a golden delicious, pretty close by. The snow's immediate neighbour is a nectareen which will only bloom and fruit within a couple of feet of the wall. The fruit has to be picked before it is totally ripe otherwise it goes moldy. I have thought about taking this out too but the blossom is so beautiful. Unfortunately the bear pulled the green/yellow apple tree down two years ago but we managed to haul it up and it is now tethered to the driveway. It seems to have recovered although the stress has resulted in many suckers which I presume I should get rid of. The bear's task was made easier because we live in an area of shallow soil over bed rock. The scabby apple, which I initially asked about, is in the main garden, above and at quite a long horizontal distance from the other trees but directly below it is an Italian plum which also suffered by mold until I thinned it out and cut back some of the "scabby".
    Hope that I have not bored anyone with this long post. At least the fig and grapevines are healthy as, ofcourse, are the dreaded but delicious blackberries!!
    Margaret
     
  10. Dee M.

    Dee M. Active Member 10 Years

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    There are a lot of good ones. 'Liberty' is a very disease resistant early red, not a keeper. 'Spartan' Mid to late season red with some MacIntosh parentage, keeps fairly well. Chehalis, a good green apple, also keeps. Think about the kinds you like to eat. I don't know about the nurseries in Canada but I would buy from a local place or mail order nursery and spent a little more to get a good variety, it really is a long term investment and time saver to get a disease resistant variety. Raintree nursery in Washington has good information and a website.
     
  11. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    "Basic Home Orchard Variety List:
    Apple - Gravenstein, Akane, Chehalis, Liberty, Jonagold

    Pear - Clapp Favorite, Bartlett, Orcas, Comice

    Plum/Prune - Methley, Beauty, Shiro, Early Italian, Seneca

    Cherry - Van, Angela, Hardy Giant, Emperor Francis

    Peach - Early Redhaven, Harken, Frost

    Apricot - Not generally successful; try Puget Gold

    Nectarine - Not generally successful; try Juneglo"

    http://gardening.wsu.edu/library/best002/best002.htm
     
  12. Dee M.

    Dee M. Active Member 10 Years

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    Good list, just thought I'd give you more information about those other varieties. Gravenstein and Jonagold are sterile so you need two other varieties to pollinate them. Gravenstein tends to bear heavily every other year but some people say it is the very best for cooking. I don't know Akane personally but it is a Johnathan type.
     
  13. silver_creek

    silver_creek Active Member

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    Try Ashmead's Kernal- an antique russet with incredible flavor and excellent keeping qualities- also quite resistant to scab, tho not as productive as some more modern varieties. Also Elstar is a good, disease resistant mid season apple with good flavor, and Akane can't be beat as an early apple. Hangs well on the tree without getting soft. Liberty is good at its peak, but you have to thin hard to get good quality and size.
     
  14. Margaret

    Margaret Active Member 10 Years

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    Ron, Terry and Dee
    Thanks you all for the help. My gardening skills, such as they are, were picked up from my father who never had a "proper" garden of his own but loved his allotment and grew staples like root crops and beans etc. - no fruit or trees though. I am now learning about these and lots of other plants from the UBC forums. Thinking about all of this this makes me realise how important it can be to encourage children to be aware of the joys of gardening. Anyway I digress!!
    I really like the idea of Ashmead Kernal. Is it at all like Cox's Orange Pippin? How tall does it grow? A pear is now also on the list of trees to plant but peach and nectarine are no longer there. I love the latter two but obviously they do not appreciate the nearness of the ocean as I do.
    Thanks again
    Margaret
    ps. Just a thought for the UBC Gardens - is there an area aimed at the kids?
     
  15. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Margaret, I've answered your question re: UBC here
     
  16. silver_creek

    silver_creek Active Member

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    Margaret- the Ashmead's Kernal is both later and stores better than Cox's Orange Pippen. We have 2 Cox's Orange Pippins, and several trees of some Cox crosses, Karmijn de Sonneville and Red Alkmene, and all of these seem to need some scab control. The Ashmead's have never had scab on the fruit, even in a bad year. I would not recommend Jonagold or Gravenstein if you want to minimize spraying for scab as they both need the control, though Jonagold has excellent resistance to powdery mildew. In terms of "how big does it get?"- depends on what size rootstock you plant. Most of our orchard is on semi-dwarf rootstocks (M-106 and M-111) as we want the drought tolerance of the larger growing trees, and know that their size will need to be controlled through pruning (most of our trees are 10'-15' tall). Many nurseries should carry their trees on more dwarfing rootstocks- I know that M-26 is the most commonly used rootstock around here.

    Left to right
    Ashmeads Kernal- A golden, russetted apple, ripens mid-October
    Akane- Ripens late August
    Liberty- Ripens mid to late September
    Freedom (scab immune)- Ripens late September
     

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    Last edited: Jan 23, 2006
  17. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Are you saying the first photo shows 'Ashmead's Kernel', or does it show 'Golden Russet' instead? These are 2 different cultivars.
     
  18. silver_creek

    silver_creek Active Member

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    Thanks Ron, I've editted for clarity. Ashmead's is different than Golden Russet (now removed from our orchard because of its inconsistant quality). But the golden, russett as adjectives suits the fruit.
     
  19. biggam

    biggam Active Member

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    I would like to hear a little more about the dolomitic lime supressing scab; seems like it would counteract the soil acidifying concern.

    'Ashmead's Kernel' is delicious; mind, though, that the fruit is pretty small, and it may not be a consistent producer. 'Novaspy' is a scab-free apple bred in Nova Scotia. The quality is very similar to 'Northern Spy', but (unlike Spy), it is precocious (bears in third year on M9 or MM106). Here is the description page.
     
  20. silver_creek

    silver_creek Active Member

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    Spreading lime at bloom time to suppress scab is something I have read about only as anecdotal- some commercial growers in Eastern WA say it helps (but they also have a much drier spring and much less scab pressure). We do it mainly because our soils need the lime anyway as they are generally acidic, and why not use every trick in the bag to fight this endemic problem.
     

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