Last year’s disease presence can help in evaluating this year’s disease risk. Many pathogens overwinter in Kentucky on infected plant material or as pathogen survival structures. Poor sanitation practices and lack of management can lead to overwintering of many pathogens. This, thereby, results in an increased risk of these diseases the following season. A record of tree fruit samples submitted to University of Kentucky Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratories in 2015 is presented here. The most common diseases of apple, pear, and other pome fruit were cedar apple rust and fire blight (Figure 1). In peach and stone fruits, the most common diseases were canker diseases (bacterial canker and perennial canker) and peach leaf curl (Figure 2).
Assessment of diseases likely to occur during the growing season provides the opportunity to utilize preventative management measures. The University of Kentucky Department of Plant Pathology provides numerous publications with additional information and management options for these diseases on their Extension Publications webpage.
- Apple Rust Diseases (PPFS-FR-T-05)
- Backyard Apple Disease Management Using Cultural Practices (with Low Spray, No Spray, & Organic Options) (PPFS-FR-T-21)
- Backyard Peach & Stone Fruit Disease Management Using Cultural Practices (with Low Spray, No Spray, & Organic Options) (PPFS-FR-T-22)
- Disease of Fruit Crops, Ornamentals, & Hemp (Facebook page)
- Fire Blight (PPFS-FR-T-12)
- Fruit, Orchard, and Vineyard Sanitation (PPFS-GEN-05)
- Gummosis and Perennial Canker of Stone Fruits (PPFS-FR-T-08)
- Homeowner’s guide to fungicides (PPFS-GEN-07)
- Midwest Fruit Pest Management Guide (ID-232)
- Organic and Sustainable Approaches to Small Scale & Home Fruit and Vegetable Production Series (Videos)
- Organic and Sustainable Approaches to Blueberry Production (Videos)
- Peach Leaf Curl and Plum Pockets (PPFS-FR-T-01)
By: Kim Leonberger, Extension Associate and Nicole Ward Gauthier, Extension Specialist