What are the black spots or blotches on my apples?


What are the black spots or blotches on my apples?


The problem may be sooty blotch and flyspeck.  Sooty blotch and flyspeck are 2 different fungal diseases that often occur together on apples.  Sooty blotch appears as dark brown to black, ½ inch or larger smudges on the surface of the apple.  Flyspeck produces clusters of shiny, round, black dots.  Individual dots are about the size of a pinhead.  Environmental conditions that favor disease development are moderate temperatures and extended wet periods in late summer/early fall. 

Sooty blotch and flyspeck live on the surface of the fruit.  Damage is mainly cosmetic.  The apples are still safe to eat.  They’re just not very attractive. 

Cultural practices and fungicides can help control sooty blotch and flyspeck.  Proper pruning of apples trees and thinning of fruit promote drying and help reduce disease severity.  Fungicides may also be necessary. 

If control measures fail, sooty blotch and flyspeck can be removed with vigorous rubbing.


Last updated on
February 21, 2022