Our Puget Gold apricot was planted three or four years ago and has quickly grown into a lovely tree. About a month ago, it appeared like an insect was bothering the tree. The leaves had little pin holes on them. But then I noticed the fruit was looking funny as it ripen on the tree.
It turns out our lovely little tree has Coryneum Blight – a nasty fungal disease that effects both fruit and foliage. Once blight has found the tree, it will overwinter and continue to re-infect the tree. The best strategy is typically to spray the tree with a copper application or other fungicide in the fall and perhaps again in early spring before it blooms.
But what can I do now? The answer is not much. Pests and disease will go after weaker plants, so I can try to give the apricot tree a boost with some organic fruit tree fertilizer. I will have to baby it this summer though, as the fertilizer will encourage new, tender growth right as we approach the hot season.
Another strategy: remove the tree and start over with something hardier. Obviously I don’t like this idea. The apricot has been a gorgeous addition to our backyard with early spring flowers, a lovely vase-shape and has quickly grown into the homestead.
I will continue my quest for finding a solution, but spraying our trees every year is a level of maintenance I would rather avoid. I am trying to enjoy the tree as much as possible this season as I mull over our options. Our apricot friend may not be around next year.