Homegrown apricots are so much better than anything you can get in the store.
But if you grow them yourself, you have to contend with all kinds of problems
you don’t see in the produce aisle. Apricots are prone to several serious
diseases, and it’s vital to know how to fight them. Keep reading to learn more
about what causes apricot brown rot and how to combat brown rot on apricot
What Causes Apricot Brown Rot?
Apricot brown rot is caused by the fungus Monilinia fructicola, a fungus that
affects most stone fruits. Apricot brown rot symptoms start appearing in the
spring, soon after blossoms open. The blossoms turn brown and die, sap exudes
from the flower bases, and brown cankers may form on the adjacent twigs.
Fruit set will be much lower than normal. Young apricots are
usually unaffected, but as the fruits mature, they become more susceptible.
They will develop soft brown spots that spread and become covered in powdery
spores. The fruit will rot quickly and become mummified, often remaining
attached to the stem.
How to Prevent Brown Rot on Apricot Trees
Since the fungus spreads easily and remains present in
cankers and mummified fruits, it’s important to keep trees cleared of
infection. Remove all mummified apricots with brown rot from the tree and
beneath, and prune away any stems with cankers.
Pest control is also crucial, as insect bites damage the
fruits and give the fungus easy access. Fungicidal spray is very effective,
especially for apricots, which are especially prone to brown
rot during the blossoming phase. It’s recommended that you spray
once before blossom, and once again during blossom if the weather is warm.
After harvest, it’s best to store apricots as close to
freezing as possible to prevent the spread of spores that might be present.