Prune: When completely dormant, every December or January.
Spray: Dormant spray in December or January with Master Nursery® Pest-Fighter Year-Round Spray Oil and Monterey Liqui-Cop®. Follow label directions for appropriate quantities.
Always check with your Nursery Professional to properly diagnose problems before undertaking additional sprays.
Shot hole fungus:
Brown Rot or Blossom Blight (different names for the same disease)
Brown rot is the most common and serious blossom and fruit disease of stone fruits. The first symptom is the browning and wilting of blossoms which may cling to the twigs for a long time. Cankers (sunken brown areas often develop at the base of the infected flowers. Sticky amber colored gum oozes from the base of the flowers or from the cankers. Prune and remove all diseased parts. The dormant season spray of Horticultural Oil and Monterey Liqui-Cop® should control the disease.
Bacterial canker, or bacterial gummosis, or bacterial blast (Different names for the same disease.) is common and deadly and caused by Pseudomonas syringae. During the fall, winter and spring, the thin bark of young trees may appear nearly black and a clear, resinous gum exudes from cankers. In older trees, gumming may exude from many areas of the bark and extend up into the small branches often killing them. Splashing rain spreads the bacteria to dormant buds, twigs and branches. Infected blossoms turn brown and wilt; some leaf and flower buds may die. Other branches may fail to produce foliage and later die. The best treatment is to spray the entire tree with Monterey Liqui-Cop® with four tablespoons per gallon of water while it is dormant. Otherwise, removal of infected wood and flowers is the only treatment.
Fertilize: Use Master Nursery® Fruit Tree & Vine Food twice a year, around Memorial Day and Labor Day. If you prefer organic fertilizers, use Gardner & Bloome® Citrus & Fruit Tree Fertilizer two to three weeks earlier. Water in fertilizer immediately after application. Supplement organic fertilizers with iron sulfate to prevent chlorosis.
Water: At planting, construct a soil berm at the drip line of the tree. As the tree matures, extend the basin to the span of the drip line. Flood weekly during the first year and then at two to four week intervals when the tree is mature. If a drip system is used, place hosing along the tree’s drip line with emitters on 18 inch centers. This system will also need to be adjusted as the drip line expands. Both of these methods are preferable to sprinklers, since they reduce water splash, a common byway of fungal spores. If sprinklers must be used, adjust heads so that they angle water low and away from the trunk.
Other comments: Watch for oozing of amber-colored gum on twigs, branches or trunk, which may indicate the presence of borers or fungus. Bring several leaf and twig samples to Wegman’s Nursery for evaluation whenever these or other symptoms appear.
Paint trunks and lower branches of young or non-vigorous trees with a one to one mixture of white interior latex paint and water to prevent sunburn injury and reduce borer infestations. Apply the paint mixture from two inches below the soil surface to the first scaffold branches.
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