Brown Rot

Monilinia laxa and Monilinia fructigena

Fungal disease that most commonly affects stone fruit, particularly peaches and nectarines. Causes distinctive brown pustules to form as the fruit starts to rot on the tree. At times some of the fruit is salvageable, in severe cases the whole fruit rots or becomes mummified. Same fungi can also infect blossoms and twigs.

Brown Rot is very common in the Auckland region, but fruit tends to be affected worse when the weather is humid.

Prevention

To reduce the chances of brown rot badly affecting trees keep trees healthy, well-fed, and do what you can to increase the flow of air around trees.

Increased airflow can be achieved by: Siting trees in spots with decent air flow, avoid over-crowding (make sure there is sufficient space between trees), and open up the canopy to allow more light in and air to flow around each tree. In most cases an open vase shape is best for peaches, nectarines, and plums.

Treatment Options

Remove infected fruit from on and around the tree.

Spray with Liquid Copper before bud burst to reduce the chance of infection. In most cases spraying with copper 4 times a year is is allowed under organic certification.

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