We have two pear trees, a cherry, and 3 apple trees and get almost no fruit from any of them. The apple loss may be a combination of deer (2 trees) and old age (the third) but the 2 pear trees and the cherry are definitely losing their fruit from what looks like brown rot or some other fungal disease. They get brown spots that spread and eventually kill the fruit (if the woodbees don't bore into the rotten bits and eat the whole thing first). I'm in Southern Maryland and have been told it is impossible to grow fruit here organically b/c of the fluctuating spring weather. I have also read that I should be spraying unholy amounts of copper or sulpher or whatever all over the trees beginning in February, picking bad fruit and burning it, etc. These are old trees that we inherited with the property. Two are over 20 feet tall and I'm not scaling them weekly to pick the infested fruit. We have pruned, sprayed everything non-toxic we could find, etc, all to no avail.
However, I'm about half way through reading Paul Stamets Mycelium Running and it's making me think there may be another path to take. Seems like the rotting fruit must be coming from a bacterial imbalance (one particular strain is flourishing?), so shouldn't I be able to introduce something to restore that balance? Do I need to pinpoint the fungus harming the tree and then research what might counter it? I'm not sure I'm smart enough for that. Any chance that balance would be established naturally in a compost pile that I could then feed to the trees liberally early in the year and throughout the growing season? I have started feeding them compost but not until July when the rot was already apparent.
Am I just wishing for magic?
Note to self: don't get into a fist fight with a cactus. Command this tiny ad to do it: