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Apricot Bacterial Canker - Diseases

Apricot Bacterial Canker - Diseases

Apricot Bacterial Canker - Diseases

Has my apricot got canker? The twigs that flowered have now died back and some have oozed gum. If I buy a new tree will it get infected too?

Bacterial canker commonly affects members of the prunus family causing sunken lesions in the bark in spring which is often accompanied by oozing gum, and small holes in the leaves from early summer.

Unfortunately once canker has infected the tree in spring there is little that can be done to save your crop this year.

Prune all infected wood from mid to late summer back to healthy wood and paint the pruning cuts with wound paint to prevent bacteria re-entering the wounds. Apply a copper based fungicide in autumn as the leaves fall, and repeat this application several times throughout the winter. This should help to prevent a recurrence of the problem next year. However, if the tree is particularly badly affected then you may wish to replace it. It would be preferable to plant your replacement tree in a different location. But if this is impossible then I would recommend getting into the habit of spraying your replacement tree with copper fungicide in autumn and winter as a preventative measure.

Sue Sanderson T&M horticulturalist

Written by: Sue Sanderson

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.