What Is It?
Fireblight is a destructive bacterial disease of pome fruit trees and related plants caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora. The infection typically originates in the flowers.
How Is It Treated?
Foliar treatments paired with pruning of infected tissue, can prevent the spread and minimize this disease's impact. Timing of treatments is critical in efficacy & must be done while the tree is in full bloom. If left untreated, the tree will likely succumb to the disease.
How Is It Spread?
It is most commonly spread through pollinators, such as bees, as well as pruning tools. Wind and rain are also known to spread the disease.
What Are The Signs?
The disease can include leaf wilt, giving the tree a scorched appearance. Hence the name. The disease can also cause dieback & oozing cankers.
What Trees Can Get It?
Pear (Pyrus sp.), Quince (Cydonia sp.), Apple & Crabapple (Malus sp.) are the most susceptible hosts.
How Can I Prevent It?
Keep the tree healthy with preventative treatment and maintenance. A healthy tree is typically able to fight off infections. Any infected tissue should pruned & either burned or buried. Pruning is best done during dormancy. Disinfect all pruning tools between cuts using a 10% bleach solution (1 part household bleach to 9 parts water) or 70% alcohol. Avoid excess nitrogen fertilization, which results in excess succulent growth which is easily infected. Remove all suckers coming up from the base of the trees, as these are more susceptible to fire blight infection, which can then move rapidly into the trunk.
REMEMBER: TIMING IS CRUCIAL!
Treatments, paired with pruning of infected tissue, can prevent the spread and minimize this incurable disease's impact. Treatments must be done while tree is in full bloom. Although the window of time for treatment is short, it is possible to do with your help. When the round buds of the flowers are white, contact us to secure your spot in our schedule.
The optimal time to contact us is around
Stage 4 of growth.
The optimal time for treatment is between
Stages 5& 6.