The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

By Cecelia

Dumfriesshire, United Kingdom Gb

How can I tell the difference between apple scab and bitter pit. I planted 3 apple trees last year - 2 are great but one has small brown spots on the developing fruit and leaves. As this is the first fruit the trees are producing I have taken off all the other little fruits but left 2 per tree so I can have a taste of things to come. I would like to keep the trees as healthy as possible so any advice would be great.



Quote from internet site: ''Sometimes the damage caused to apple fruit by bitter pit is mistaken for scab. However bitter pit scars remain very small whereas the scars from scab increase in size as the fruit grows. If you cut into a fruit affected by bitter pit the damage can often go to the centre of the apple.'' So there you have it.

19 Jun, 2018


Also Bitter pit tends to develop later in the season than scab.
Bitter pit does not show on the leaves either, there it is much more likely to be scab.

19 Jun, 2018


Great thanks, I can now try to control it. I wish I had more knowledge and experience but it will come hopefully. Until then I will be grateful for all your good advice.

20 Jun, 2018


Cecilia...this is how we all learn! I have learned so much from GoY friends. :)

20 Jun, 2018


Even if it's not bitter pit, it wouldn't hurt to give them a dressing of something with calcium in it as it is the deficiency of calcium that is often a cause of bitter pit. There are many fungicides for the treatment of apple scab.

20 Jun, 2018


What I have done with the trees which are susceptible to Bitter pit is to bore holes (with a large crowbar) around the tree where the branches end. The holes were then filled with Calcium and filled in.
That has to be done in February if it is going to be of any use though.
The other thing one can do is to spray the flowers when fully open with a Calcium solution. Never tried this as I am not happy spraying when there are bees around.
Bitter pit is more prevalent in acid soils than lime rich ones and only in certain seasons when the weather conditions are such as to prevent the tree from taking up calcium.
I spray with Copper sulphate for Scab, reasonably organic.

20 Jun, 2018


Thank you, I have acid sandy soil with lots of stones in it. I can get cow manure from a local farm so hopefully my soil will improve over the years. I will also remember about the calcium.

21 Jun, 2018


Don't forget that manure tends to increase acidity in soils. On a sandy well drained soil, it may be worth putting some lime on, but not at the same time as the manure.

22 Jun, 2018

How do I say thanks?

Answer question


Not found an answer?