What are the black spots and marks on my apple tree leaves?
It sounds like your tree may have apple scab, which is a common fungal infection on apples and pear trees. It affects both leaves and fruit so it is well worth tackling now.
Firstly clear up all leaves that have fallen from the trees and either burn them or dispose of them with household waste as this will prevent the fungus from over-wintering so easily. Youll also need to spray the tree with a systemic fungicide in the spring, which will be available at all good garden centres. Look out for the active ingredients Difenoconazole or Myclobutanil on the bottle and follow the manufacturers instructions. Also check it is suitable for use on fruit trees.
You could also consider pruning out any congested branches to allow good air circulation (the fungus thrives in warm damp conditions).
Plants and gardens have always been a big part of my life. I can remember helping my Dad to prick out seedlings, even before I could see over the top of the potting bench. As an adult, I trained at Writtle College where I received my degree, BSc. (Hons) Horticulture. After working in a specialist plantsman's nursery, and later, as a consulting arboriculturalist, I joined Thompson & Morgan in 2008. Initially looking after the grounds and coordinating the plant trials, I now support the web team offering horticultural advice online.