Why Do Apples Rot on the Tree? [3 Common Reasons]

There are a variety of reasons apples rot on the tree, but one of the primary causes is a fungal disease called Candida. Candida is actually a form of yeast that infects apples. Your apples may also be rotting due to a lack of adequate water or pest infestations. Some problems can be remedied on your own, while others are better handled by a professional.

Why do apples rot on the tree?

3 Reasons Why Apples Rot on the Tree

Because it takes time and effort to grow apple trees, you don’t want to discover your fruits are rotting on the tree. Here are 3 culprits behind rotting apples:


The main cause of apple rot on trees is Candida. This is a fungal disease with many variants, and the spores can spread quickly through your orchard. The spores harm both the shoots and the fruit, as well as the leaves. If candida affects your apples, it can be difficult to remedy on your own, so it is best to contact a professional to eliminate Candida and other fungal diseases.

  • Candida is a primary cause of apples rotting on the tree.
  • All fungus-based diseases can spread rapidly from one tree to the next.
  • It is best to call a professional to eliminate Candida or other fungal diseases.
  • Dispose of any affected fruit so that it won’t harm your other trees.

Once a fungal infection has been addressed, make sure you remove all affected fruit and dispose of it. This will prevent the fungal spores from being carried to your other trees by the wind.

Insufficient Water

Another common reason for apples rotting on the tree is underwatering. Although you may be tempted to think that overwatering would be more apt to lead to rot, it is actually underwatering that is the greater danger to your apple fruit harvest.

  • Apple trees that are not watered enough are highly susceptible to rotting.
  • Find out exactly how much water is needed for the specific type of apple you are growing.
  • If your apples are beginning to rot on the tree, it’s best to increase your watering volume immediately.

Correct rotting apples by increasing the amount of water you provide to each tree. You do not want to overwater your trees either, so pay close attention to soil conditions. It’s important to find out exactly how much water is required for a healthy crop of apples. This can vary significantly from one variety to the next, so get expert advice if you are unsure.


A top reason for rotting apples is pests attacking your apple trees. Two of the biggest offenders are apple maggot flies and codling moths. However, beetles and other insects such as leafhoppers and green fruit worms may also find their way to your apple orchard.

  • Pests are a common reason for apples to rot on the trees.
  • Spray for apple codling moths to prevent rotten and pest-infested apples.
  • All-purpose pest sprays can also target pollinators as well as unwelcome pests.
  • Spray for pests in the evening to avoid harming pollinators.

All-purpose sprays can be used to eliminate apple tree pests, but they can also kill pollinators, such as bees and butterflies. If you use this kind of spray, do so at sunset so that you kill harmful moths without harming pollinators. Alternatively, nontoxic horticultural oil can be used in the spring to spray new leaves. This is a chemical-free option and can prevent infestations. 

How Do You Stop Apples from Rotting on the Tree?

You can stop apples from rotting on the tree by maintaining a weed-free orchard, that is spaced correctly. Weeds attract codling moths and other common apple pests. By regularly weeding, there are fewer areas for harmful insects to hide. It’s also important to make sure that your apple trees receive adequate water to discourage fruit rot.

  • Keep your apple orchard weed-free to discourage pest infestation.
  • Make sure to water your apple trees appropriately to prevent rotting.
  • Evaluate your apple trees for Candida and other fungal diseases.

Watching for and addressing Candida and other fungal diseases is also vital when you want to prevent apples from rotting. The most important factor in preventing damage to your apple harvest is to catch these problems early, before your fruit is ruined.

Why are Your Apples Rotting on the Tree?

Apples are a healthy, delicious, and popular fruit. However, you do not want to go through all the hard work to grow apple trees and then lose them to rot before you have a chance to harvest.

  • Fungal diseases such as Candida can rapidly rot your apples.
  • Insufficient watering can quickly lead to rotting apples.
  • Pest infestations are a common reason why apples rot on the tree.
  • Call a professional to help cure and prevent Candida infection and other fungal diseases.
  • Increase watering frequency and/or volume to help prevent fruit rot.
  • Weed your orchard and spray for pests to prevent worm-infested and rotten apples.

By weeding your orchard and providing adequate water you can take the first steps to prevent apple rot. If your apple trees are healthy and you see no signs of harmful insects, rotting apples are typically caused by fungal disease. Look out for brown spots and other signs of fungus, then contact a professional if these signs appear.

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