Friday, November 2, 2012

We have a winner.

Finally it looks like I've found the cause of the unusual chlorosis on the apple leaves. It turns out not to be a nutrient deficiency, it's a virus, the Apple Mosaic virus to be exact. It could have been worse, it's not technically contagious. That is, without human intervention. When humans and their strange interest in cutting bits off things and attaching them to other things gets going, the problems start. IE, grafting. Infected scion wood will transfer the virus to the parent tree and thus the disease spreads. You'd think it would be easy enough to eradicate then right? Seems not. My first case of the virus was on the Snow Apple bought from a nursery in Tasmania that will remain nameless, for the time being. The second appearance is on the piece of scion wood given to me recently by a generous member of a community of like-minded people which will also remain nameless for a bit. Not good for business! A concern I have now is whether or not the disease can be spread by pruning through secateur blades! In future I think I'll have a separate pair to prune my sick trees.
All this aside, I'm trying to be philosophical about the whole thing. The point of my current apple orchard it to learn how to grow apples. Some things will work, some will fail, others will get strange apple STD's. The important thing at the moment is the knowledge, not necessarily the biggest or best apples in the world.

One of the leaves on the Snow Apple. It'd a dead ringer.
The Bonza graft is growing like mad but the yellow mottling is unmistakable.

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