Yesterday I worked in my apple orchard removing mummified apples.
Mummy apples are apples that turn brown, shrivel and do not drop from the tree.
Mummy apples contribute to certain disease and fungus cycles in apple trees. Fire Blight and Bitter Rot are the two main diseases that my apple orchard is prone to.
Good sanitation plays an important part of my orchard management program. Lots of orchard headaches can be avoided with careful and timely attention.
Last year I had some trouble with Bitter Rot and Fire Blight on my apple trees and our wet summer weather contributed to the problem. But I also think the situation was made worse because I didn’t remove the old brown apples in the early part of last spring.
To stop to spread of disease it’s imperative to remove mummified fruit before the spring. When shriveled apples are removed from the trees they should be burned; and burned well away from other apple and fruit trees. That’s because smoke from burning Fire Blight limbs or dried up apples can re-infect the orchard. No sense going through the trouble of picking mummy apples off of trees just to have the trees become re-infected again.