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Nectria twig blight

Nectria cinnabarina (Tode:Fr.) Fr.

Typically, small cankers can be found girdling the base of cluster buds that bore fruit the previous year. This leads to the wilting and dying of leaves and twigs of current season's growth (A). Bright pink to orange fruiting bodies appear at the nodes (B) or on developed cankers or pruning stubs during wet weather in early summer (C).

Distribution

Occurs from eastern US and Canada, west to Michigan.

Similar Species

The blighting of shoots may resemble fire blight infections, but infected shoots do not have blighted blossom attached and they wilt from the base of the canker upwards rather than from the tip downwards.

Management

Infections are almost always associated with "pulled stems" left when harvesters remove apples but leave stems in the trees. Disease incidence is greatest in years when wet harvest weather is followed by winter weather that causes cold injury. The pathogen typically attacks varieties with large cluster-bud bases such as Ben Davis, Northern Spy, Rome Beauty, and Twenty Ounce.

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