Asked on Jul 21, 2013

Black spots on my apples

Dee W
by Dee W
My apple tree is 6 years old and this is the first year it has produced fruit, but also the first year that the tree seems to be sick. The fruit has black spots and some of the leaves are yellow, browning on the tips or curling. The weather has been heavy rains with dry spells and very hot. We do not spray the tree and I did not fertilize it this year. Does anyone have an idea what is going on and how we can avoid it next year?
q black spots on my apples, gardening, One of a dozen pink lady apples with black spots
One of a dozen pink lady apples with black spots
q black spots on my apples, gardening, Leaves are turning color and curling
Leaves are turning color and curling
q black spots on my apples, gardening, Both healthy leaves and sickly leaves on the tree
Both healthy leaves and sickly leaves on the tree
  20 answers
  • Leevers Leevers on Jul 22, 2013
    Hi Dee, it looks like possibly aphids attacking the foilage, however the black dots could be fruit fly and/or wasps. If you do some light reading on common bests and diseases I think you'll solve your problem quite easily. Best of luck!

  • Spheramid Enterprises Spheramid Enterprises on Jul 22, 2013
    Could also be fire blight, google it. Usually, it's not reversible.

  • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on Jul 22, 2013
    Take a branch and apple to your local extension office. They should be able to tell you exactly what this is and what to do about it. Fire blight on apple trees is pretty rare, normally it effects pear trees. Cedar apple rust is more of a problem, and that's not it. Possibly apple mosaic virus? it's hard to tell from th pictures.

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jul 22, 2013
    I'm with Catherine. I would also add that it's really hard to get edible fruit from an apple tree without some type of spray program, even an organic one. Here, for example, is a spray schedule using organic options:

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) on Jul 22, 2013
    I am in agreement with @Douglas Hunt , it is a challenge to get any significant crop from fruit trees without a regular maintenance program. Also you may want to check with the county extension office to find out which trees are more likely to do better in your area. Often times fruit trees will be purchased from huge chain stores which have national buyers who have no clue as to the best varieties for a specific area. If you bought it from a reputable Garden Center they should have also informed you on how to care for your tree in order to get a good crop. Apple trees are usually not self-pollinators. Do you have apple or another fruit tree in the area? This is the sheet I direct my customers to for information on apples in our area. The publication also contains excellent information on Apple tree care.

  • Dee W Dee W on Jul 22, 2013
    Thank-you everyone for your input. @Catherine Smith will visit the Extension office soon, @Douglas Hunt I hadn't realized that, I asked when we bought the tree and the told me t would take 3 years before producing fruit. @360 Sod (Donna Dixson) I did buy the tree from a local nursery where I do business, and was told apple trees do not require "pair pollination" have no other fruit trees nor do the neighbors . Guess that will be changing!

  • Jeanne B Jeanne B on Jul 23, 2013
    I have two apple trees, & was told that the spots are rust spots from nearby cedar trees. I don't eat the apples as they aren't good tasting anyway. but that explained my problem as several cedar trees are around here in Tennessee

  • Dee W Dee W on Jul 24, 2013
    @Jeanne B that is so weird! No cedar, but I am surrounded by silver maple trees, hmm.

  • Jeanne B Jeanne B on Jul 24, 2013
    yes it is weird, the picture of the apple above (pink Lady apple) is like the spots on my apples, A master gardener , is the one who told me that is was called cedar apple rust.???? I don't know about ur silver maple trees.

  • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on Jul 24, 2013
    well, your maples won't cause rust. It comes from cedars. However, there are varieties that are bred to be cedar apple rust resistant. It pays to double check that sort of thing when putting in a home orchard. We lost 2 Barlett pear trees to rust, so we replanted with Boscs and Sheckles. Both are resistant and at 15 years, producing heavily. Their certainly not purty but they taste marvelous.

  • Laura Laura on Jul 31, 2013
    I have 4 apple trees and just noticed 2 of them are doing the same thing, they are red/green very juicy, but same problem. The other two trees are fine! My apple trees and Roses, both same looking problem. Uhmmm!

  • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on Aug 01, 2013
    @Laura, your roses probably have black spot. Another type of fungi, make sure you clean the bed throughly, bag and discard any fallen leaves. Black spot is an air borne fungus. It gets on your rose leaves and starts reproducing. When the infected leaves drop, they infect the soil with the fungal spores. When it rains, those spores get splashed back up on the roses, so it's a vicious circle. I use corn meal to help suppress the spores. It looks a bit odd, but I've found it to be very effective. And I live in VA the Black Spot Capitol, LOL Your apple tree issues are something different. Again, I would suggest contacting your local extension office and take samples to establish exactly what is wrong and what you can do to try and fix the problem.

  • Dee W Dee W on Aug 02, 2013
    @Laura I wonder if it has more to do with weather conditions than soil--we've never had this happen before to the apples. My tomatoes are also affected and think maybe spores get carried on the wind?

  • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on Aug 03, 2013
    Weather this year is definitely a factor. Because of all the rain, fungi and mold have been a real issue all over the country. But your tomato problem is not coming from your apples. Two entirely different breeds of cat or mold there. This is where an extension agent who is normally a trained horticulturalist can help. You help pay for those services with your tax dollars, so don't hesitate to seek help with the problem.

  • Dee W Dee W on Aug 03, 2013
    @Catherine Smith --thank you, I hadn't realized they were "tax employees" now I won't feel like a pest.

  • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on Aug 04, 2013
    The extension offices are branches of your land grant college. The program was started in the 40s I believe and is designed to help both farmers and home gardeners with problems, etc.

  • 4ja251581 4ja251581 on Nov 06, 2013
    I read that it can be sooty blotch.

  • Zahid Zahid on Aug 01, 2018
    What type of disease is that

  • Rachel Rachel on Sep 18, 2018

    Are the apples still edible when they look like that? (Dee’s apples) I recently went apple picking and all of the apples have those spots. I just want to make sure they are safe to eat... I have already had a bunch but the farmer said they were fine. He said they were organic. Thanks :)

  • Lisa13 Lisa13 on Sep 18, 2018

    You have to spray the tree and around with a fruit tree spray lowes or Home Depot