realenglishfruit

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Tag Archives: Monilinia

Brown Rot

Brown rot, courtesy of Barockschloss/flickr.com

Brown rot, courtesy of Barockschloss/flickr.com

If there is one fungus which is a real trouble when fruit is ripening, as well as during blossom time, it is this brown rot fungus. It is caused by three different fungi: Monilinia fructigena, Monilinia laxa and Sclerotinia fructigena. It also infects blossoms of fruit trees, which become brown in appearance; the problem may persist in the trees well into early summer. It is when the fruits are beginning to ripen, whether they be apple, pear, plum, cherry, peach, nectarine or apricot, that the the brown rot fungus becomes really active. The conidia spores enter the fruit through small wounds or bird pecks, and germinate. The destructive spores soon develop and the fungus spreads around growing fruit. If the weather is favourable it is able to destroy a very significant proportion of the fruit crop. Warm and humid days suit the fungus best. It may even affect the thin young shoots, which have been supporting the growing fruits.