Are you wondering whether brown rot will affect your trees or garden?
Below, we cover everything you need to know.
What is brown a rot advice, alert, or warning?
A brown rot warning is issued to fruit growers in areas at risk of brown rot, based on current weather conditions
These are based on a risk index and can be issued during the brown rot season (generally between November and April).
The purpose of these warnings is to raise awareness about the potential occurrence of disease.
Who issues brown a rot advice?
The Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology is responsible for issuing Brown Rot warnings.
If a warning has been issued, it will be distributed by local media outlets such as radio, TV, regional newspapers and other appropriate sources.
What is brown rot?
Brown rot is a fungal pathogen that attacks mostly stone fruits.
It causes the fruit to spoil and is a major concern for stone fruit farmers because it can lead to serious economic losses.
Brown rot occurs in wet, humid weather and its scientific name is Monilinia fructigena.
You might have brown rot if you notice spreading, firm, brown spots of infection on stone fruit.
Brown rot can affect all parts of the tree (fruit, shoots, twigs, etc.) but most commonly leads to widespread rotting of the fruits.
When does brown rot occur?
Brown rot occurs in the warmer months, usually from November to May.
It’s influenced by temperature and moisture and is most common after periods of heavy rain.
Brown rot is most common in humid areas or those with high soil moisture, such as the coastal strip.
What is severe brown rot?
Brown rot usually starts with spreading, firm, brown spots on the fruit.
If severe, the spots rapidly develop into rotting areas, which appear brown and mushy.
The rotting areas will be surrounded by conidial pustules, which resemble small, white spots. In severe cases of infection, the entire fruit can be covered with pustules.
The rot can then spread into the twigs of the tree and cause the leaves to curl up and die.
What plants are susceptible to brown rot?
The tree fruits most susceptible to brown rot are:
How does brown rot spread?
Brown rot spreads via fungal spores that are spread by the wind and rain.
Plant material can also be infected with brown rot which is why is important to only used plant material from accredited suppliers.
How to protect against brown rot
In order to protect against this disease, the best thing you can do is avoid providing the environment that supports its development.
This means ensuring good ventilation and sunlight, removing any infected fruit and plants as soon as possible, and keeping the soil beneath your trees free of debris, especially rotting fruit and damp, deadwood.
Prune your trees so they are more open in structure, so air can move freely through the tree. This reduces the humidity within the tree structure.
In addition, plant resistant varieties when possible.
Finally, seek local advice on the best approach for your plants. Expects may recommend you use a fruit tree fungicide on your trees during seasons where infection risk is higher.