Written by  NSW DPI

Freckle (or scab)

Freckle (or scab) is a fungal disease caused by Cladosporium carpophilum. This disease affects stone fruit and is found in all growing regions especially in warm, wetter areas.

Freckle (or scab): Disease identification
Freckle infection on the fruit will appear as greenish–brown to black spots arising at the stem end.
When the infection is severe, lesions can combine to form a greenish, velvety blotched area.
Symptoms on the leaves first appear as pale, green areas. As the disease progresses, the infections develop into dark brown lesions.
Damage from freckle can affect normal fruit growth and increase the incidence of cracks in the fruit, making the fruit unmarketable. If infection is severe, leaves may fall prematurely, resulting in reduced photosynthetic ability and overall decline in tree health.
The disease is favoured by rainfall followed by temperatures of 18–24C.
Monitor weather conditions and take a preventative approach to controlling infections.
Cultural and physical
Ensure there is adequate airflow throughout the canopy to increase the rate of drying after rain
Avoid planting in low-lying areas
Remove and destroy infested fruit.
There are currently no biological controls for freckle.
Spray programs for other key stone fruit diseases are likely to control freckle. However, there are fungicides registered to control freckle if a specific treatment is required.

Download the Orchard plant protection guide

See this article in Tree Fruit Nov 2021