Garden Pests Series: Q…

Thoughts and musings

Garden Pests Series: Q…

Lewis | April 30, 2015 | 0 Comments

…is for Quince leaf blight.

I’ll be honest with you; when researching for this list of 26 garden pests, one for each letter of the alphabet, I had an inkling that the letter ‘Q’ would be a problem! Think about it: it is a high-scoring letter in Scrabble and more to the point, it is featured in under 0.01% of words in the English language! Not only this, the majority of the time, the letter ‘Q’ is followed by the letter ‘U’…so I was think I was really going to struggle to identify a garden pest for ‘Q’. Little did I know that it would be one of the first I wrote on the list! As a result, I’ve been looking forward to writing this particular post since the letter ‘A’! So I will not ramble any longer, let’s crack on with quince leaf blight.

As its name suggests, quince fire blight is mainly a problem on the common quince. However, like many things, this is a partial misnomer; quince fire blight can also affect plants from the Rosaceae family, as well as hawthorn and pear, for example. Having said this though, outbreaks on these plants are much less sporadic than those on quince and are also much less damaging. So if you do have these plants in your garden, remain vigilant, but if you have quince, too, it can be cause for concern.

The condition itself is caused by the fungus Diplocarpon mespili, which cause the symptoms of darks spots on foliage and fruit, as well as premature leaf loss. This can be more severe during the wet seasons and with the knowledge plenty of wetter conditions can occur during its typical timing of from Spring to Autumn, it is an entity every gardener should know about.

There is no longer a specific chemical control mechanism for quince leaf blight; a chemical product that had a small potential to control the condition is no longer available for sale. There are fungicides that you can look into though. However, with any chemical spraying, we recommend to always read the label and take necessary precautions. More to the point as you know, we do like our organic solutions when they are available! First, remember to rake and dispose of affected leaves that have fallen from the tree and to prune out any dead shoots during the Winter months. Finally, maintain good cultivation to allow the tree to have a chance to grow more foliage.

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Photo credit: <a href=””>Carsten aus Bonn</a> / <a href=””>Source</a> / <a href=””>CC BY-ND</a>