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Small Fruit and Berry Diseases

Grapes, blackberries, dewberries (trailing blackberries), strawberries, and blueberries are generally grown throughout the temperate and tropical zones of the United States for commercial production of fruit. These crops are often included in home gardens and roadside markets making them a highly desirable commodity. In addition to the health benefits, these fruit are a welcomed addition at the table. Arkansas produces a wide variety of small fruit throughout the majority of the state. An active breeding and evaluation program is in place at Fayetteville, Arkansas on the University of Arkansas campus. The fruit substation located at Clarksville, Arkansas is one of the largest fruit research areas in the United States.  The most significant small fruit diseases are caused by various fungal organisms which can affect fruit quality and quantity. 

Gray mold of strawberry
Anthracnose of strawberry
Black rot of grape
Mummyberry of blueberry

Important Diseases of Small Fruits and Berries

Black rot

This fungus disease affects both the leaves and fruit of grapes. Fruit shrivels and turns black, resembling a raisin. The fungus also produces leaf spots up to ¼" in diameter.


Anthracnose can attack a variety of fruit, but is primarily a fruit disease of strawberry causing a fruit rot.

Gray Mold

This fungal disease can cause a fruit and crown rot of strawberry. This fungus often attacks frost damaged plants. Fruit become covered in a gray "fuzzy" mass of spores.

Leaf and Cane Rust

This fungus disease of blackberry most often attacks the leaves and canes. It produces yellow "pimples" on the leaves and lesions on the canes. It can cause a reduction in fruit yield.


This disease of blueberry causes fruit rot and twig dieback symptoms. It can be severe during humid weather conditions. An enthusiastic spray program may be required to manage this fungus disease.

Angular Leaf Spot

This bacterial disease is usually considered a minor foliar problem on strawberry. It is favored by overhead water and warm weather.