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This forum is dedicated to the discussion of growing pome fruits, including apples, pears and other pome fruits, discuss varieties and how to store, prepare and process pome fruits.

Brown Rot

Postby Unkledon » Mon May 14, 2012 8:52 am

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Location: Corralitos, Santa Cruz, CA; USDA 9b
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I could not find a place for stone fruits here, so I'm posting with the pomes.

I am finally getting a grasp of the long-standing brown rot infection in my stone fruit orchard. I do the normal three sprays of copper during the dormant season, but that's apparently not enough. (I also had some problems with my sprayer last winter.) I have a Santa Rosa plum decimated by blossom rot a couple weeks ago. By decimated, I mean that all the blossoms were snuffed, apparently because of the warm rainy weather during bloom, which I will be on the lookout for next year. Since then, it has been dry here in Santa Cruz, CA, and the tree looks healthy (with no fruit).

My question is if it would be a good idea to spray Serenade (or something else) now (May) on this plum -- and maybe even other neighboring stone fruits? Will spraying now diminish the effects of brown rot on neighboring stone and on the plum tree blossoms next year?

Don Eggleston

Re: Brown Rot

Postby scottfsmith » Mon May 14, 2012 4:38 pm

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Don, most spraying for brown rot is in growing season, dormant sprays are not all that effective. Copper is also not particularly effective for it. It sounds like you are following a peach leaf curl spray regimen for brown rot; those diseases are very different.

I would recommend using sulphur in the growing season. I have tried several things over the years and believe sulphur is the most effective. Use a sticker such as nufilm if you can find it, it will keep the sulphur on longer. Also remove any infections you can see from the orchard. Serenade also can help but when I had a bad infection it never seemed to do a whole lot for me. I assume you are organic, the non-organic sprays are much more effective and brown rot is one of the biggest challenges for organic growers.

Scott

Re: Brown Rot

Postby Unkledon » Mon May 14, 2012 4:56 pm

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Location: Corralitos, Santa Cruz, CA; USDA 9b
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Thanks, Scott. Yes, I just figured that peach leaf curl and brown rot, shot hole fungus and cercosporum? that I got on my blackberries were all fungi, so the same spray would deal with all of them.

I try to be organic, but I have been known to cheat. This particular plum has been barren for years, so I'm ready to cheat. I presume sulphur is organic, so what would be the nuclear option? How often do I spray, or at what stages?

Don

Re: Brown Rot

Postby Axel » Mon May 14, 2012 9:10 pm

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Scott is right, you need to watch for brown rot during the season. There are two peaks to be concerned with, one is right after bloom and the other is when fruits ripen. Lots of dropping rotting fruit will help spread more spores in the orchard for the following season.

In the Winter, dormant spray doesn't help, but mulching the orchard with manure or turning over yhe soil helps in keeping the spore count low.

Re: Brown Rot

Postby John S » Tue May 29, 2012 9:39 pm

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I would use bacterial compost tea when it's leafed out. Works for me.
John S
PDX OR

Re: Brown Rot

Postby scottfsmith » Wed May 30, 2012 12:16 pm

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John, did you actually have brown rot present? In all the studies I have seen compost tea had little effect. See for example this link:

http://www.agroecology.org/Case%20Studies/brownrot.html

- only 21% of the fruits were not rotted with compost tea in this study. I have seen several other studies with the same conclusion as far as compost tea effectiveness was. In the aforecited study kelp seemed to do the best. I mix some seaweed with every spray I do. I wished they gave the number for sulphur alone in the study above, I have always seen it do pretty well but no number is given.

Here is a review article of recent compost tea research:

http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~linda%20ch ... 0again.pdf

Scott

Re: Brown Rot

Postby Axel » Wed May 30, 2012 1:10 pm

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I am curious if milk spray would actually work for brown rot? This article suggests it does indeed work most likely because of the whey.


Can Milk Control Brown Rot?

Image

In 1999, a team of Brazilian researchers found that weekly sprays of a milk solution controlled powdery mildew in zucchini squash. In more recent studies, milk or whey-based sprays were as effective as fungicides in controlling powdery mildew in two plantings of wine grapes in Australia. Plant pathologists suspect that as compounds in dairy products interact with sunlight, they cause crippling damage to powdery mildew fungi and spores. If milk works on powdery mildew, I thought it might help with brown rot, which has a similar life cycle.



Re: Brown Rot

Postby scottfsmith » Wed May 30, 2012 1:57 pm

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Axel, I haven't seen a study of milk spray for brown rot. I have only seen good results for milk with powdery mildew. The fact that it was not included in the many studies done for brown rot makes me expect it is not going to do anything, but thats just a guess.

I found the actual study I put a link above for, the sulphur treatment gave about 30% good fruit which is not all that good, but they were applying it together with copper and not using a sticker so that may have lessened the impact. I have seen several other studies in which sulphur worked better.

Scott

Re: Brown Rot

Postby John S » Wed May 30, 2012 9:30 pm

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I thought that powdery mildew was a fungal disease and brown rot was a bacterial disease. If this is true, it seems unlikely to me that it would work for brown rot.

I have seen many places in which they used a milk solution, so I think I might try it.
John S
PDX OR

Re: Brown Rot

Postby scottfsmith » Thu May 31, 2012 5:13 am

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John, brown rot is also fungal, anything making spores is fungal. The only common tree diseases that are bacterial are fireblight and bacterial spot.

Scott

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