How can I control insects and diseases on my apple tree?

Homeowners are often surprised at the damage pests can do to apples. It is not easy to grow apples as pretty as those seen in the grocery store. Several diseases and insects can damage apple trees. Besides spraying pesticides, other things can be done to reduce pest damage, but it is very difficult to grow quality apples without some kind of pesticide application schedule. Rake and destroy leaves in the fall to reduce damage from diseases that overwinter in infected leaves. Prune trees annually to increase air circulation, improve sunlight penetration, and remove diseased branches.
Several fungicides, for disease control, and insecticides, for insect control, can be used to control pests of apple trees. Contact your local county Extension office to get a spray schedule listing recommended pesticides and the time of application. Sprays should typically be made from just before bud break through most of the growing season. Be careful to avoid spraying insecticides during the bloom and always follow the label instructions.