Fire Blight

Normally our summers are too dry for the development of Fire blight, but in 2008 our spring and early summer were warm and wet enough to result in rapid spread of the disease. Since then we have seen the disease randomly affect Hawthorn, Mountain Ash, Pear, Crab Apple, Apple and Cotoneaster. This bacterial disease can affect most species in the Rosaceae family.

Tree Damage

  • Flower and branch tip can turn red and the end will curl.
  • Fire blight is named for the red fire-scorched look of leaves.
  • An Orange ooze found seeping from diseased twigs.
  • Cankers appear as indented areas on the bark.
  • Leaves persist into the winter.
  • Trees can be killed in just a few years.

Control Measures

  • The only control for fire blight is to prune to remove diseased wood.
  • Pruning can also be a means of transmission. It is recommended to hire a professional to help you with the pruning.
  • All pruned material must burned or buried in the landfill to prevent re-infection or transfer of the disease.
  • Despite attempts to remove the infected portions of the tree it often shows up again and many trees end up being removed due to infection with this disease