Perennial canker of apple and pear

Disease

Perennial canker of apple and pear

Pezicula perennans (Kienholz) Nannf.

Distribution: Uncommon in the east, but has been reported in Canada, Michigan, and some New England states.


Branch lesions are elliptical, sunken, and orange, purple, or brown in color. A raised layer of callus tissue forms around the infected tissue to isolate the diseased tissue. This occurs year after year as the fungus continues to invade healthy tissue, resulting in a series of concentric callus rings (A). Acervuli are produced in the most recently colonized tissue and appear as small, raised black bodies. The woolly apple aphid (Eriosoma lanigerum) can be found invading these cankers in regions where they both exist.

  • Crops Affected: Apples, Pears

    Management

    While pesticide applications reduce the spread of cankers and their associated diseases, they are not effective at eradicating existing cankers. It is better to prevent canker establishment by removing existing cankers and following good horticultural practices.

    Similar Species

    Can be confused with other cankers such as those associated with white rot and black rot. The presence of callus rings, associated with older cankers, helps to differentiate perennial canker from white and black rot cankers.