I have an apple tree which is at least fifteen years old and produces fruit most years. This year it has developed brown leaves on the lower branches and brown/black places on the bark near the ground. The fruit appears to be developing normally.

leaves with brown spots

Stock with black bark

I'm in Ontario Canada, which does not allow chemical pesticides, but I spray it with sulphur and insecticidal soap at least a few times in Spring.

What is likely to be the problem and what can I do about it?

  • In your first picture I see a fruit with a dark area. What colour is it, brown or black?
    – Alina
    Jul 10 '17 at 21:05
  • It's brown. Hadn't noticed it before. Jul 11 '17 at 3:00

These symptoms match the ones of Venturia inequalis. Use a systemic fungicide against it.

  • Any suggestions for what to do in a place where chemical fungicides are banned? Jul 16 '17 at 1:16
  • I have read that potassium bicarbonate is used in organic farming to prevent infection, but I don't know if it is effective as a cure.
    – Alina
    Jul 16 '17 at 4:12

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