On the look­out for canker

Amateur Gardening - - Your Gardening Week -

Bare branches give you the chance to check over trees for de­fects such as canker, a fun­gal dis­ease that can at­tack ap­ple trees.

Wa­ter­logged, acidic soils can make the fun­gus more preva­lent. Some va­ri­eties show re­sis­tance (‘Katy’) whereas oth­ers are more sus­cep­ti­ble (‘Cox’s Or­ange Pip­pin’). Canker shows it­self as sunken patches of bark of­ten sur­rounded by corky le­sions. The cankers spread and en­cir­cle a stem, which of­ten snaps or dies off.

Cut out any canker that you see, prun­ing well into the healthy wood. Cuts can be daubed in wound paint (e.g. ar­brex) to de­ter re-in­fec­tion.

(left) canker and (be­low) paint­ing a wound

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