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
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 21:05
  • It's brown. Hadn't noticed it before. Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 3:00

1 Answer 1


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? Commented Jul 16, 2017 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
    Commented Jul 16, 2017 at 4:12

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