Over the past few years my apple tree has stopped producing a good crop of apples. The few apples that are produced go brown and rotten on the trees.

It sounds like your apples are suffering from Brown Rot caused by the fungus Monilinia fruitigena. This is a common and widespread disease of apples. To control the problem you will need to prune out all the mummified fruits, along with a small section of the spur. Pick up all diseased windfalls and dispose of, as the fungal spores that will infect next year’s fruit overwinter on this material. Fungicide sprays will help considerably however to achieve any degree of control you will need to spray just before, during and just after flowering and in addition when you start to see the small fruitlet apples emerging. Timing is critical. If fungicide sprays commence two to three weeks after flowering then there will be no major reduction in the number of diseased apples.

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