Fruit tree problems and diseases

Fruit trees can be afflicted by a wide range of diseases and problems. Fortunately most of these can be resolved quite easily, especially if they are caught before they become serious. The following sections explain the kinds of problems you might come across when you are growing fruit trees, how to deal with them, and which varieties are resistant.

Aphids are sap-sucking insects which can quickly do tremendous damage to fruit trees.
Bacterial canker
Bacterial canker is serious disease of stone-fruit such as plum and cherry trees.
Canker is a serious fungal infection of apple and pear trees.
Caterpillar damage
Caterpillars can quickly eat large areas of leaves.
Codling moth
Codling moth larvae burrow inside developing apples, rendering the fruit unusable.
Eriophyid mite
Eriophyid mites are a late season pest of plum trees and other fruit trees.
Fireblight is a usually fatal bacterial disease of apples and pears.
Frost damage
Frosts in spring can affect leaves and blossom of fruit trees, leading to reduced crops.
Magnesium deficiency
A common problem with apple and pear trees. Leaves develop reddish-brown patches.
Peach leaf curl
Peach leaf curl is a significant disease affecting peach, nectarine and almond trees.
Pear leaf blister mite
Pear blister mite is a microscopic insect that feeds within pear leaves.
Pear rust
Pear rust is a fungal disease affecting pear trees.
Scab is one of the most common fungal infections of apples and pears.
Walnut blister mite
An insect pest which causes unsightly but harmless damage to the leaves of young walnut trees.

How to get help with your fruit tree problems

We can often diagnose diseases and problems that might be affecting your new fruit trees.

The best way to get help is to send us photos by email - send them to

Please take several photos of the problem area, and always include a good photo of the whole of the tree including the ground around it. This is very important because we can tell a lot about the health of your tree from its general appearance.