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Hi hope someone can help

 I have the white fungus over my espalier Apple trees - they are in their 3rd year and  the branches are quite bare in places over the weekend we trimmed off the worst leaves and offshoots and they are looking quite sparse now. I don't want to put any chemical spray on as I am trying to keep the garden as chemical free as possible...

Is it true that if we decided to replace them later in the year with new ones that if we plant apples again the fungus remains in the soil?

Dovefromabove

Sounds like woolly aphid - spraying it with the hosepipe should get rid of the worst of it.

Hi Dove there are no aphids unfortunately  its like a white powdery mildew

pansyface

What makes you think that it isn't white powdery mildew?

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pansyface

Oh. I think you were a bit hasty with the old bin lorry there. Mildew, if it was mildew, is just a matter of poor ventilation and dampness in the air. Do you mean that the whole tree has now gone? Any plant can get mildew if the dampness and stillness are there still.

Dovefromabove

Plants often succumb to powdery mildew if they're a bit stressed and particularly if they're dry at the roots - don't give up on 3 year old apple trees - I'm sure the problem can be sorted!

Hi PF sorry meant all the infected leaves not all the trees. We were worried the wind would carry the mildew to the pears, which is why we clipped off as much of the infected areas and popped them in the bin...

Dove will try a weekly watering can of liquid seaweed, per tree as well as all the rain we are getting to see if they are suffering water shortage being against the fence.

Its just if they get worse during the summer whether we can replace them in the same soil or if the infection would pass to new plants..?

Dovefromabove

There are lots of different powdery mildews and they tend to be host specific, meaning that honeysuckle powdery mildew will only infect honeysuckle etc.  On top of that the plant has to be in a poor condition (usually suffering from drought) so that it is susceptible. 

I wouldn't use liquid seaweed every week - in my opinion that would be too much and result in soft growth and possibly an imbalance of nutrients in the soil - once a month would be enough - but if your apple tree is against the fence it needs more liquid than one can a week, even with rain.  I water my 2 year old espalier pear with a bucket of water 3 times a week at the moment. 

If planting shrubs in dry areas I sometimes get a large plastic tonic bottle (other mixers are available ), remove the screw cap, cut the bottom off and sink it into the soil neck downwards so that the neck is right by the roots of the shrub - you can then water direct into the bottle and the water is directed straight down to the roots.  I do this for my courgettes too. 

Thanks Dove have installed some plastic water bottles tonight and will increase the watering

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