Last year’s disease presence can help us evaluate this year’s disease risk. Many pathogens overwinter 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 2020 are presented here. The most common diseases of apple and pear were cedar apple rust and leaf spots (Figure 1). In peach and stone fruits, the most common diseases were leaf spot diseases and brown rot (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)
- 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)
- Fire Blight (PPFS-FR-T-12)
- Fruit Diseases of Peach (PPFS-FR-T-09)
- Fruit, Orchard, and Vineyard Sanitation (PPFS-GEN-05)
- Homeowner’s Guide to Fungicides (PPFS-GEN-07)
- Peach Leaf Curl and Plum Pockets (PPFS-FR-T-01)
- UK – Disease of Fruit Crops, Ornamentals, & Hemp Facebook Page (Link)
By Kim Leonberger, Plant Pathology Extension Associate and Nicole Gauthier, Plant Pathology Extension Specialist