Scab is a fungal disease that can affect both apples and pears. The name comes from the dark “scabby” marks that can be seen on the fruits. However, the first signs will be on the leaves with dark spots developing on the leaf early in the growing season.
DAMAGE: In a serious infection, the spots will come together as one mass, causing premature leaf drop. Likewise the marks on the fruit themselves can become splits, providing a site for other infections to enter.
TREATMENT: The most effective treatment is to practice good hygiene. Dispose of leaves once dropped as the infection can over-winter on decaying matter. Avoid a damp micro-climate. Longer grass will harbour moisture more than shorter grass. Keep on top of pruning as good air movement is essential! Remove infected fruitlets etc,.
ORGANIC CONTROLS: Planting “resistant” varieties can really help. Local varieties are also worth considering as they may have more resistance due to being better suited to the local soil and climate.
Some of our most popular varieties, known to have greater resistance to scab are: Please note this list is not exhaustive!
Beauty of Bath
Fiesta (Red Pippin)
Golden Noble Grenadier
Tydeman’s Early Worcester