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Dwarf Apple

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Question: 6-5201
I have one of those dwarf apple trees with 5 different apples. It got an orange colored spotting in the last month. This is the second year that we have had the tree. What can I spray the tree with to get rid of it? James, Groton, CT

Mort's Answer:
You have a rust. You will need to prune the tree to build its strength. Newly planted material was easily stressed by the dry spring and early summer. Stressed plants are very vulnerable to insect and fungal infection. Your first order of business will be to fertilize the roots. Make 8 holes in a circle about two feet on each branch this winter. All upward shoots should also be cut out. A scaffolding of 5 major lateral branches should be developed over the next 5 years. All flower bearing branches should be developed over the next 5 years. All flower bearing branches should come off these 5 lateral branches. Lastly, you will need to spray very often to produce disease free fruit. When the leaves drop this fall, you can apply a dormant oil spray. It should be 65 for 4 days to be effective. If you miss this opportunity this fall, you can catch it this coming spring before the leaves come out. In the spring, you can follow this up with Bordeaux mix after the flower petals have dropped. Follow directions on the label for the additional spray times. You can apply the Bordeaux now to arrest the rust. I would not plan on getting too many apples for three years.

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