WSU Extension


Anthracnose and Bull's-eye rot 
Bitter pit 
Crown and collar rot 
Crown gall 
Cytospora canker 
Fire blight 
Fruit russeting 
Nectria canker (European canker) 
Nectria twig blight (Coral spot) 
Perennial canker (Bull's-eye rot) 
Phytophthora fruit rot 
Powdery mildew 
Virus diseases 
Apple ermine moth 
Apple maggot 
Apple-and-thorn skeletonizer 
Brown marmorated stink bug 
Codling moth 
Cutworms and armyworms 
Fruittree leafroller 
Lecanium scale 
San Jose scale 
Spider mites 
Tent caterpillars 
Tentiform leafminer 

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Caption: Apple bull's eye rot
Photo by: G.G. Grove
Apple : Perennial canker (Bull's-eye rot)
(revision date: 5/20/2014)

Perennial canker is a fungal disease. It is similar to anthracnose, but occurs primarily east of the Cascades in Washington. The characteristic symptom of perennial canker is a sunken canker surrounded by rings of dead wood. Cankers are often associated initially with wounds. The fungus does not survive in the wood, but reinfects around old cankers each year, especially when woolly apple aphids are present. Aphid feeding provides wounds which serve as re-entry sites for the fungus. Winter injury and other weakening factors also contribute to disease severity. The disease also causes a bull's-eye rot of stored fruit. Infected fruits develop spongy light brown spots with darker margins. There may be additional rings around the spot, giving it a "bull's-eye" appearance.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Plant resistant varieties such as 'Gravenstein', ' McIntosh', 'Red Delicious', 'Wealthy', and 'Winesap'.
  • Provide proper culture to maintain vigorous, healthy trees.
  • Avoid wounding trees and prevent winter injury.
  • Control woolly apple aphids.
  • Prune out and destroy infected tissues when practical.
  • Use correct pruning practices. For more information see PNW 400, Training and Pruning Your Home Orchard, or contact WSU Master Gardeners or your county Extension agent.
  • Keep fruit dry after picking and while in storage to minimize disease development.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

None recommended


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Caption: Apple bull's eye rot
Photo by: G.G. Grove