Powdery mildew of apple and pear

Powdery mildew of apple and pear

Podosphaera leucotricha (Ellis & Everh.) E. S. Salmon

Distribution: Occurs almost everywhere apples are grown; particularly problematic in arid climates.


The fungus overwinters in leaf buds and sometimes flower buds. Mycelium develops rapidly on unfolding leaves and appears as white, felt-like patches or as a solid mat on the upper or undersurface of the leaf (A). Infections on the underside of the leaf may cause chlorotic patches or spots to occur on the upper side of the leaf. Infected leaves tend to crinkle, curl, or roll upwards along the edges, giving them a narrow appearance. The blossoms, petals, sepals, receptacles, and peduncles may become infected and covered with the fungus. Blossom infections are less common but are important because infected blossoms will either fail to set fruit (B) or produce small, stunted or russetted fruit (C).

  • Crops Affected: Apples, Pears

    Management

    Powdery mildew is managed through the application of fungicides from tight cluster or bloom through midsummer, and through the use of resistant varieties. In regions where apple scab occurs, a powdery mildew program is typically integrated with that of apple scab.

    Similar Species

    High populations of apple rust mite can cause white spots on leaves that may be confused with powdery mildew.

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