Freckle

Freckle or Peach Scab, is a fungal disease that likes warm wet weather. 

Plant Part: Fruit, lesions can occur on leaves and twigs.

Season: Fruiting cycle

Symptoms: Symptoms occur on the fruit, where small, greenish, circular spots gradually enlarge and deepen in colour to black as spore production begins. Lesions are most noticeable on the stem end of the fruit where spores wash from infected areas of the twigs onto the fruit. Unlike bacterial spot, there is no pitting of the skin and no symptoms on leaves. The overwintering twig lesions are clearly visible during the early season as small, greyish, more or less circular, slightly sunken lesions on the previous season's shoot growth.

Control: Removal of infected twigs that have raised lesions on current years growth will help in controlling the fungus. A preventative fungal regime is recommended - A spray of copper oxychloride at bud swell will help.

Prevention: Good balancing/pruning practices allowing good air circulation will help discourage this fungus. Don’t over water your stone fruit tree over winter. Keep weeds, cuttings and plant debris cleaned up and dispose of this material away from the tree to keep from spreading spores accidentally. Check out the Care instructions in the annual winter pruning section. Applying a copper spray at bud swell and repeating if necessary is a great preventative. 

References: NSW Department of Primary Industries, Gardeners Path, Agriculture Victoria, Sustainable Gardening Australia , Penn State Extension and the FST team.

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