Apple and Peach Tree Issues Emerging this Season - U of I Extension

News Release

Apple and Peach Tree Issues Emerging this Season

This article was originally published on June 5, 2018 and expired on August 1, 2018. It is provided here for archival purposes and may contain dated information.

Fruit tree issues are beginning to emerge as a seasonal problem. No fruit, blackish/brownish color on leaves, lack of flowers, and other issues can be a challenge on fruit trees early in the season.

“If you grow peach/cherry/apricot trees and do not have any young fruit right now, there is a strong chance that the cold winter is to blame,” states Grant McCarty, Local Foods and Small Farms Extension Educator. “When temperatures reach below -9 F for multiple days in the winter, this will kill buds since fruit appears on two year old wood. Most apple and pear trees can tolerate these colder winters. It doesn’t mean your peach/cheery/apricot tree is dead but that you’ll need to wait next year for this fruit”

Some problems in the backyard orchard originate from the previous season. “Apple Scab is a disease where the pathogens originate on fallen leaves around the base of the tree from last year. To control this disease, you should remove any debris that is currently there.”

If you do not have any fruit on your apple trees, you may find that you do not have a match. “Apple trees need more than one variety to cross-pollinate. So you always want to have 2-3 varieties that bloom at the same time to ensure your trees are getting pollinated,” continues McCarty.

Many issues in the backyard orchard can be addressed during the season. “Remove any fallen fruit will keep some insects from being a problem. Set up insect traps for apple maggot. Clean up leaf debris on an on-going basis. Be vigilant in diagnosing diseases,” McCarty states.

For assistance in addressing insect and disease problems on fruit, the Master Gardener Helpline is available at the University of Illinois Extension  Friday from 9AM-NOON.


Source: Grant McCarty, Extension Educator, Local Food Systems and Small Farms,

Pull date: August 1, 2018