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Fire blight


Oldman Gomolka:
I live in the Great Lakes Region and all of my Peach/Pears Trees had Fire blight.  Does anyone have experience dealing with this?

Don P:
I asked the boss, she said strict sanitation, cut it out sanitizing between cuts, remove/ burn the infected stuff. Agrimycin spray (sp?) and little hope if it is established. Your county extension agent should be able to assess and help.

Hi I am new to this forum but am in line to be fourth generation in our family orchard operation. We mostly grow apples but also pears. Fireblight has not been a massive issue on our farm but always something that needs attention and maintenance. Other neighbours and other fruit growing areas have large issues. For the smaller grower I would suggest removing the effected oozing cankers. You can see the black ooze and cut it back far enough to get it all. As the previous poster stated sanitize your cutting tools between cuts. We use methyl hydrate (Alcohol) as bleach is very hard on metals for cleaning clippers and saws. Fireblight is spread by two main means by bees spreading ooze bacteria into blossoms (Blossom blight) and by traumatic events damaging foliage and young growth allowing bacteria to enter (Trauma Blight caused by high wind, hail etc). So if you want to cut it out this year and make sure its gone you can mechanically remove (Pinch) all your blossoms next year before they open. This will ensure no new fireblight enters by pollinators but you of course will not get a crop. Do not work with fireblight in the rain/wet as the ooze can be moved/spread accidentally. Fireblight is a tough one to battle, 1 drop of fireblight ooze is enough to infect 2 acres of orchard during bloom. Fireblight also prefers young active growing trees to get out of control so inducing vigour by pruning hard you run a risk. If it gets into the main stem/leader you ought to cut it down as you will never beat it. Best of luck.


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