Apple Doctor


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Author: Esther McGinnis


  • Russeting produces brown, corky tissue on the apple skin.
  • Sometimes it occurs in a netlike pattern.
  • At its most severe, russeting may lead to skin cracking and moisture loss from the apple.
  • ‘Haralson’ may be more susceptible to russeting.

Figure 1. Russeting McGinnis
Figure 1.
 Netlike pattern on an apple (Esther McGinnis, NDSU)  


Figure 2. Russeting McGinnis
Figure 2.
Severe russeting may lead to cracking (Esther McGinnis, NDSU)

Management and other important facts

  • Russeting may be caused by a number of different conditions including extended periods of high humidity, cool temperatures during early apple development, the application of copper-based and other caustic pesticides, and powdery mildew infections.
  • Choose to plant apple cultivars that are less susceptible to russeting.
  • Prune the tree to open the canopy and accelerate drying of the fruit.
  • Be cautious in applying pesticides that are formulated as emulsifiable concentrates; wettable powder formulations are less likely to cause russeting.
  • Avoid excessive application of nitrogen-based fertilizers.

This website was supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through grant 14-SCBGP-ND-0038.
Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.

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