Anthracnose
March 03, 2013 06:05PM
We have an anthracnose problem that I have been dealing with for some time .Last year I started burning the lesions with a propane tourch.So far it has been working pretty well.The lesions have a violin bow look to them .. kinda stringy.. .I direct the flame directly onto the lesion until I hear a snap crackle pop noise and sorta rub it smooth with a gloved hand..So far it's been working fine without killing the branch.. i see some new lesions this year .. I think I may have to get heavy handed with some copper ?

Paul Townsend
Bayhead Farms
Orcas Wa
Re: Anthracnose
March 17, 2013 09:14PM
We have a causative fungal pathogen with multiple launching pads here. I have no doubt "burning out" lesions has good value in severe situations ... but geez boys, what a task! Just to be clear for those not quite as infected as Paul, here's a pic:


The mechanism of wintertime copper would be to literally flatten surface infection sites with "toxic blue" to limit potential establishment points. The biological approach would suggest massive competitive colonization instead. There's no better way to launch this than with a "slurry spray" of biodynamic tree paste. That is if your sprayer filtration is up to the task. Beyond that, both compost tea and effective microbes are potential dealers on the twig colization scene when anthracnose ups the ante.

Here's the rub, via some words of fact from Washington State:
Infection generally occurs during fall rains but can take place throughout the winter and early spring during mild, wet weather. Spores of the fungus, Pezicula malicorticis, formed on the dead bark of older cankers, are splashed to other twigs and branches and infect through wounds or natural openings in the bark. These infection areas appear as small, circular, reddish brown spots on the bark in late fall. The discoloration extends into the tissue as far as the sapwood. Canker growth is very limited during the winter, but they begin enlarging rapidly in the spring.

I read into that to up the timing of a tree paste application from post-harvest to earliest winter. And probably again in late winter!

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/19/2013 08:00PM by Michael Phillips.
Re: Anthracnose
March 21, 2013 08:55PM
Tree paste .. wow sounds intriguing. my gas powered packpack sprayer can handle the surround clay .. so if I thin out the paste, I think the sprayer can do it .. .the rain winter rains are going to be a problem ..washing it off ?..hmm...anyway in the meantime .. time to start the EM soup brewing .. buds are swelling !!

Bayhead Farms
Zone 7a in Washington
Re: Anthracnose
March 22, 2013 03:34PM
Oh, yeah, I have had anthracnose for many years, but did not know the Washington thing about splashing through the winter--Yow. I have had varying success with copper--some years it seemed to stop it cold, but next year spreading again--could be due to the splashing effect. But, I also killed two sheep with copper poisoning--so why not just use Lime/Sulfur (It's only a fungus after all). Did not seem to do much. Have not tried compost teas at that time of year (mid-late Nov around here) nor BD paste (too much to brush on and too fearful of paste in my diaphragm pump sprayer--but LIKE the idea very much) So, I was definitely hoping Michael would say the magic NEEM word--timing of the leaf fall spray of 2 gals acre is the same as copper. Seems to me neem should be quite helpful with this...No?
My neighbor (from whom I "caught it" (from a cox orange pippin from a unamed nursery in No. California)) says if you spot it early enough you can cut the branch below the cut and remove to burn pile and the rest of tree should be fine. In one tree it worked for me but two others did not. This is a tough one. Liked your torch idea, Paul, but not practcle here--may try it on some young trees. Tim
more photos of anthracnose
March 26, 2013 08:32PM


Re: Anthracnose
May 05, 2013 08:07PM
I have a neighbour with established apple trees, (full size), which are riddled with cankers which look like this. But.. it is apparent that the infection is occurring very early on. The tree produces masses of great long water sprouts, (the owner is very hesitant to prune as aggressively as it needs), and if one looks along these sprouts, the bark on a quarter to a half the length of the sprout will be darker, and if one rubs at these dark areas the bark rubs off revealing a brown stringy dead bark. Much of the damage appears to start specifically at the site of a bud.
So, whatever this is, (is it anthacnose??), it is infecting the growing wood. (These water sprouts are obviously 1 year old wood.)
So, my questions: Is this anthracnose, or something else? If so, what the hell can one do about it - the whole tree is afflicted - every branch and virtually all new growth. It is quite impossible to cut out, paint with copper, burn out with a blowtorch, ... Lots of EMs, neem, compost teas,...?
Re: Anthracnose
May 07, 2013 11:27PM
If indeed anthracnose cankers do not progress beyond the initial infections, then burning or painting the lesion is undertaken only to reduce transmission in the orchard. Since the spore source is already present, presumably, such treatment may only slow the spread. Pre-emptive coverage with either holistic or allopathic substances may be the only solution. It may take hold in additional areas, since there have been statements made that colder temps suppress anthracnose in apples, and things are warming up out there on planet earth.

The infection may appear to attack new growth, because although the infection happens in the fall, the symptoms appear in the spring. I haven't found any info, but I wonder if buds are infected and can appear at the shoot extension phase.

On the bright side, I have seen some plantings with extensive anthracnose, still making an awful lot of apples.

Walden Heights Nursery & Orchard
Zone 3 in Vermont
Re: Anthracnose
May 27, 2013 07:56PM
i like the tree paste idea if i can figure out how to spray it on.
Re: Anthracnose
October 26, 2015 08:52PM
Let me revive this thread, as Anthracnose does this time of year (though the threads won't show til next season..)

So, we hosted a commercial hard cider orcharding workshop this summer (thanks to WSU-EX who had some grant monies available) which brought in the guy we obtained a TV and VCR for, to watch his now 30-year-old pruning VHS tape.. Gary Moulton.

What Gary told us was that the extensive cankering we had been seeing in our orchard was indeed Cryptosporiopsis, i.e. Anthracnose. He said that beginning in about 2004 a much more virulent strain seemed to start to hit orchards in Western WA. It looks the same to the labs, he said, but acts much more aggressively than what he had been seeing prior..

Now, this fungus is most widespread in our 35 year old orchard of 260 varieties on M9s, while in the 25 year old production orchard with more vigorous rootstocks appears to be only getting started on the canker train..

A few things here:

1. Winter pruning in Western WA means pruning in wet weather. Should I restrict most (or all?!) of my pruning cuts to summer months (completely dry here) when anthracnose wouldn't be sporing?

2. We contemplated copper long and hard and in the end couldn't swallow the allopathic pill at this point. We are going to heavy FAK (double Neem and Fish Hydrolysate) with aerobic compost tea/kelp, to work on the competitive colonization front right after the rest of the fruit is off this weekend. Also, I plan to hit the orchard with AACT during warm, wet weather throughout the winter.. Then, we are planning on doing a BD tree spray as discussed above in late winter/early spring. Michael, your link above has gone bad - I did get a clay quantity per 100 gals/spray from you but what else is included in this spray (manure, horn products, etc?).

3. We are straight out removing trees that are clearly losing the battle. Like Moulton said, there's 6000 varieties in the world you can't have them all. Besides, in light of this severe problem, I want to grow the more Anthracnose resistant varieties.

4. When we start planting new trees in the coming years, I'd like to plant more vigorous rootstocks to help the trees fight off this and also for drought tolerance.

5. WSU-EX Mount Vernon has a graduate student working with their crew taking a closer look at Anthracnose this winter. They will publish the results of four studies beginning this spring. Looking forward to see what they find out.

PNW growers - let's talk fungus!

Nick Segner

Wildcat Valley Farm
Zone 8b
Olympic Peninsula Rainshadow
Port Angeles, Washington



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/26/2015 10:04PM by Nick Segner.
Re: Anthracnose
November 02, 2015 08:47PM
Well, it seems (though all is not always as it seems) that the Fall Holistic (here in Nor Cal it is in December) and the FAK after 2 years has either 1) slowed down the spread remarkedly well 2) have gotten 3-5 year old infected (and some 10 year olds) trees to bounce back OR BOTH. 1) could be 2 years of very drought conditions. 2) the drought probably did not contribute to this. So, I'd say FAK (if you can aford it) is definitely worth a try. But I think the Fall Holistic is maybe the kicker that made these things (it seems) happen. Here in Ca. the timing for copper for control was November, so that lines up more with Fall Holistic. Trying to remember if EM is a part of this in late fall? If so it is about time to brew some. My carrier is also aerobic compost tea. I was a little confused when writing the above, then I reread Nicks's plans to FAK real soon (not at normal bud break time). I think that is a good plan given the severity of the problem he has. Probably can back off to less expensive Fall Holistic next year (it seems). Good Luck.
Re: Anthracnose
November 05, 2015 02:48PM
Thanks for your response, Tim!

We sprayed the 3.6 gals neem and 4 gallons liquid fish in 180 gallons on Tuesday, boy what a strong smell to the orchard! Hit it it today with fungally-pretreated Alaskan humate compost tea (verified on the soil microscope and some really good looking thick brown, segmented mycelia in there!!). Also added soluable kelp and an OMRI product called Solu-PLKS as further fungal food (anyone have experience with this product by the way?). Spraying AACT tomorrow and Sunday as well to provide better coverage throughout the orchard.

Hoping this is going to be a great help to kickstart an immune response in the trees against the fungal pathogen in addition to the competitive colonization effect.

Tim, any experience with winter pruning vs anthracnose? Wait til summer until we get the spore sources down a bit in a year or two?

Nick Segner

Wildcat Valley Farm
Zone 8b
Olympic Peninsula Rainshadow
Port Angeles, Washington
Re: Anthracnose
November 06, 2015 08:02AM
So, I have a few questions/comments:

First of all I love this post.

Second, "...3.6 gals neem and 4 gallons liquid fish in 180 gallons on Tuesday..." - over how many acres? or How many trees?

3rd, what is "...fungally-pretreated Alaskan humate compost tea..." - which fungi did you pre-treat it with?, what's so "Alaskan" about it?, what kind of microscope did you use?

4th, I looked at the web site Solu-PLKS and my first response was that I have an issue products that are only described with general, marketing jargon. But, no, I don't have any experience with it, though there are a myriad of similar products that I have used. They seem to be a good deal, but so do time and good soil practices.

Mike

Mike Biltonen, Know Your Roots
Zone 5b in New York
Re: Anthracnose
November 06, 2015 10:55AM
Mike-

1. Cheers!

2. So, that spray was over our 0.9 acres of apples (approx 620 trees on M9 and M26), and I hit the pears as well to help with overwintering scab conidia.

3. Ok, so our eventual goal is to make some stellar ramial wood-chip compost to begin using our own composts (with native fungi) for the compost teas. We've got some slow-cooking right now, not yet ready. So what we're using in the meantime while we learn is based on a local commercial compost tea maker's recipe:

A product called "Denali Gold" which is just pure Alaskan humate (black, black stuff), a local wood chip and fish compost called "Oly Mountain", and earthworm castings. When we're pushing it more in the fungal direction, like right now, we're backing off on the earthworm castings and doing more humates. So, we use about 2 lbs Denali Gold, 2 lbs Oly Mountain and 1 lb castings to make a 25 gal batch of tea.

So, fungi have a life cycle beyond the 24-48 hour compost tea brew cycle.. so how I've been shown to increase fungal counts in the brew is to "pretreat" the compost before brewing, allowing the spores to germinate before being tossed into the brewer. That pretreatment consists of the 5 lbs mixed compost with small amounts of the fish hydrolysate and liquid humic acid with some steel cut oats and water enough to barely saturate the compost (if you squeeze it you can get only one drop of liquid to drip from it). You leave in "breathable" plastic nursery flat loosely wrapped in plastic to allow some air movement. In 3-8 days or so depending on temps, it'll be covered in hyphae and even small fruiting bodies. Then we brew it with more fish and kelp keeping an eye on the dissolved oxygen levels, the less-than-aerobic ciliate levels under microscope and just the smell.

The microscope we got (the Trinocular 40x-400x OMAX M8311E-C30U) is basically the same one Dr. Elaine Ingham recommends for soil microscopy on her SoilFoodWeb website. Any of the 'scopes on this page she recommends would do well: Soil Research Microscopes MicroscopeNet.

4. Yeah, I was skeptical about that SOLU-PLKS product, but since the couple who are teaching me the compost tea brewing were so all about it, I'm giving it a shot. They claim it can break apart the mineralized soil phosphorus that helps turn our silt soil into cement every summer when it dries out. Will see if it helps, watching the soil tests, and if nothing spectacular happens, I'd be happy to ditch it to save a buck on spray materials!

Nick Segner

Wildcat Valley Farm
Zone 8b
Olympic Peninsula Rainshadow
Port Angeles, Washington
Re: Anthracnose
March 27, 2016 01:46PM
Hello,
New to the forum. Great to see some other Western Washington growers.

We have some new apple trees that we have recently planted that are showing spring lesions of anthracnose. They are still quite young and I am going to cut out the infected wood and burn the lesions this week. We typically do holistic spraying with neem, fish and teas depending on the season. We are at about at green to silver tip on most of the apples. The pears are popcorn to bloom. Is there anything specific to spray on the apples now or should I just wait until petal fall?

btw the tree with the worst anthracnose is a Braeburn on M106 that we are currently top working with some interesting varieties to test. Is that variety especially susceptible to anthracnose? It's only a few years old and I am considering removing it completely since it has lesions on the main trunk. I am worried that may serve as a vector to infect the mature trees in the orchard which have not had anthracnose issues. They are mostly Asian pears, btw. We also have a few Spitzenburgs that I understand are quite susceptible.

It's been a really warm wet winter so I am not surprised to see some fungal issues occurring. Would be great to hear from other local growers to hear how your results have been this year with a holistic approach. Thanks.

Jim Gerlach
Nashi Orchards
Vashon Island, WA
Re: Anthracnose
April 04, 2016 03:55PM
Jim-

Hi from the Olympics. Vashon, where you are, also is a gorgeous place and with quite the orcharding history from what I understand. Only made it over there once so far, to pick up the Avalon Apple Press from the workshop at Meadow Creature there- great product.

To task: Anthracnose. Yeah from what I understand, you wouldn't want to be using copper or lime-sulpher this time of year on those apples. Spring holistic sprays is what we're doing (though we had a temporary issue with home compost tea making that threw us off schedule and we missed our 2nd spray..)

You could torch or cut out lesions as they show up.. Or prune out badly infected branches. MP suggested using Calendula/Garlic salve on lesions. We grew alot of both last year so applied that over the winter and we have a badly infected "test tree" we left to try and evaluate these holistic approaches.

Fall/Winter in Western WA is the time it's sporing/infecting and when you'll want to try a "fatty acid knockdown" or BD tree paste/spray.

Waiting for the WSU results to come out and will post a link on here when there's something to report. Here's the link to what the studies they're conducting look like..WSU Winter 2015/2016 Study ..Other than the chems, there's copper and the cultural practices..They're also gathering anecdotal info from other growers, and I hope to be able to recommend holistic approaches once we start evaluating results.


Nick Segner

Wildcat Valley Farm
Zone 8b
Olympic Peninsula Rainshadow
Port Angeles, Washington
Re: Anthracnose
June 27, 2016 09:51PM
Hi Nick and Jim, I just discovered this forum and thank you for all the wonderful info! Sinc our 250 tree orchard is young, no problem with anthracnose here yet, but I have a friend near Centrailia with some very old trees that she wanted top worked to other varieties this past spring we did this, but I hav grave misgivings due to the extensive lesions on all the trees. Please do post the results of the study! I may suggest they use copper this winter as they are unlikely to brew up any tea. And, I was very careful to sterilize all my pruning and grafting tools after working on those trees!

VistaRidge orchard, Quilcene, WA zone 8a est. 2012
235 Cider and heritage apple trees, 72 varieties,
Re: Anthracnose
March 02, 2017 03:48AM
A follow-up on this topic - Our orchard is surrounded by wild cherry and alder trees which look like they host anthracnose, and while pruning this winter I've discovered what looks like lesions on some of our young trees. It's my fault, I did not pull limb spreaders soon enough and they wounded the bark, which allowed the spores to enter. We have had a very wet winter, record rains. I read in another post a suggestion to put neem paste in borer holes to help the tree heal. Since the spores start reproducing in spring, I decided to try covering every canker I can find with neem,paste to see if it can slow or stop the spread and heal the wound. Some I cut the dead bark off first. A few branches needed to be removed. I will follow up with the holistic sprays when it's time. Nick, do you have an update on how your holistic tests worked on your infected trees? I have marked each treated tree and will be monitoring closely. Opinions on this approach? Hopefully I will have some "anecdotal" info to pass along.

VistaRidge orchard, Quilcene, WA zone 8a est. 2012
235 Cider and heritage apple trees, 72 varieties,
Re: Anthracnose
March 29, 2017 02:02PM
Hi Karen!

Another Oly-Pen'er- welcome!

Yes, I think you're correct: WSU says that cherry can host the malevolent fungus and I suspect alder would as well. I have many red alder next to the orchard also, in poor health (they are dying due to lack of water since they closed the irrigation ditch here). Could be a major source of our inoculum.

And yes, two incredibly wet winters in a row for us here: not good for those of us dealing with anthracnose in Western WA.

No update on control methods: still haven't heard back about WSU's tests results. I sent Whitney an email asking about that. Nothing was mentioned about the results on their website. Will make another post if I do indeed get ahold of the results.

At our orchard, we're still dealing with it. I have removed another couple trees this spring showing new signs of infection. At least so far we have been removing only approx 1/2 to 3/4 as many trees as the year prior, so either simply the removal of infected trees or the heavy fall neem/fish has been helping. Can't say anything with certainty.

You've gotta understand my context though: 35 year old M9s and M26s (beyond the M9 "lifespan" anyway) planted in monoculture and neglected for a decade before we took over. Orchard was in rough shape to begin with. Our plan is to keep removing trees (rather than try copper or burning our lesions, etc) up to removal of 25% of orchard before we reevaluate our approach. Every tree gone is also a great chance for us to add diversity to the orchard. At this point the orchard for us is a nursery for scion and eventually the understory plants that we will use to propagate and plant new orchards in the coming years.

As far as spreading on neem paste, I'd give it a try. Let me know what you find out in your young orchard. We have found that most of the trees that have anthracnose already have it systemically. Even if the lesions are treated, it'll pop up on new shoots the next year anyway. That's why we're just removing trees.

But, we'll be in your boat soon: anthracnose on very young trees is something we all have to figure out. It's very easy for these trees to be girdled by the infection from what I hear. You may want to try all of the above experimentally and see what helps. I'd try the cutting and torch burning of lesions on a couple trees : [ext100.wsu.edu].
This is what was recommended to us by Gary Moulton.

Good luck and please share your results!

Nick Segner

Wildcat Valley Farm
Zone 8b
Olympic Peninsula Rainshadow
Port Angeles, Washington
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