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 2018 are presented here. The most common diseases of apple, pear, and other pome fruit were cedar apple rust and leaf spots (frogeye leaf spot, apple scab, Phoma leaf spot, and Phomopsis leaf spot) (Figure 1). In peach and stone fruits, the most common diseases were bacterial spot, brown rot, peach leaf curl, and peach scab (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.
- Apple Rust Diseases (PPFS-FR-T-05)
- Fire Blight (PPFS-FR-T-12)
- Fruit Diseases of Peach (PPFS-FR-T-09)
- Peach Leaf Curl and Plum Pockets (PPFS-FR-T-01)
- 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)
- Commercial Fruit Pest Management Guide (ID-232)
- Homeowner’s guide to fungicides (PPFS-GEN-07)
- Fruit, Orchard, and Vineyard Sanitation (PPFS-GEN-05)
- Organic and Sustainable Approaches to Small Scale & Home Fruit and Vegetable Production Series (Videos)
- Organic and Sustainable Approaches to Blueberry Production (Videos)
- UK – Disease of Fruit Crops, Ornamentals, & Hemp Facebook Page (Link)
By: Kim Leonberger, Extension Associate and Nicole Gauthier, Extension Specialist