Effects of morning vs. evening inoculation on the development of Neonectria ditissima lesions
The study of Neonectria ditissima causing European canker in apple trees is often dependent on controlled inoculation of tree wounds and development of canker lesions. This makes the success of the initial inoculation crucial for time-efficient research. The effect of morning vs. evening inoculation on the successful development of canker lesions was investigated. Ninety-six ‘Royal Gala’ trees were inoculated on six different days (February–March 2017), which covered several different weather conditions. On each inoculation day, 16 trees were inoculated on four rasp and four picking wounds, at 10:00 and 19:00 hours. These were then assessed over the following 8 months for presence of disease symptoms. Irrespective of rain (0–4.5 mm rainfall at the day of inoculation), temperature (average daily temperature of 14.8–21.3°C), and humidity (average daily relative humidity of 59.8–94.2% rH), neither the day nor the hour of inoculation affected symptom development. However, more inoculated wounds developed symptoms in rasp wounds (91%) than in picking wounds (63%). Under the environmental conditions tested, inoculation timing (date and hour) had little effect on N. ditissima symptom expression.