Homemade apricots are much better than what you can get in the store. If you grow them yourself, you have to deal with all kinds of problems that you don’t see in the produce aisle. Apricots are susceptible to several serious diseases, and knowing how to combat them is crucial. Keep reading to learn what causes brown rot on apricots and how to combat brown rot on apricot trees.
What causes apricot brown rot?
Apricot brown rot is caused by Monellinia fruticola, a fungus that infects most stone fruits. Apricot brown rot symptoms begin to appear shortly after flowering in the spring. Flowers turn brown and die, flower bases exude sap, and adjacent buds may develop brown sores.
The set of fruits will be much less than usual. Young apricot kernels are usually not affected, but as the fruits mature, they become more susceptible. They will develop soft brown spots that spread and become covered with powdery spores. The fruit will quickly rot and mummify, often attached to the stem.
How to prevent brown rot on apricot trees
Because the fungus spreads easily and is found on cut and mummified fruit, it is important to keep trees free from infection. Remove all mummified apricots from the tree with brown rot on the bottom, and cut off any stems with cankers.
Pest control is also very important, as insect bites damage the fruit and provide easy access to the fungus. Fungicide sprays are very effective, especially for apricots, which are particularly susceptible to brown rot during the flowering stage. It is recommended to spray once before flowering, and again during blooming if the weather is warm.
After harvesting, it is best to keep apricots close to freezing to prevent the spread of these spores.