Sunburn of Fruit


Sunburn damage on apple. Sunburn damage on apple.

Sunburn damage on apple.
Sunburn damage on apple.


  • All Fruiting Plants are Susceptible


Sunburn of fruit can be common in Utah, but is easily prevented with proper pruning and training. As fruit is exposed to excessive heat of the sun, the skin can turn brown or black. Severe sunburn can often cause a surface crack.

Drought stress may contribute to sunburn by reducing foliar shading and fruit size.


  • Black or brown skin of fruit
  • Surface crack in fruit


Do not prune in late summer before harvest. Kaolin clay (a white, non-toxic clay mineral) applied in late season, will help to "shade" exposed fruit.



Precautionary Statement: Utah State University and its employees are not responsible for the use, misuse, or damage caused by application or misapplication of products or information mentioned in this document. All pesticides are labeled with ingredients, instructions, and risks, and not all are registered for edible crops. “Restricted use” pesticides may only be applied by a licensed applicator. The pesticide applicator is legally responsible for proper use. USU makes no endorsement of the products listed in this publication.