Fire Blight

It’s that time of year!

We need to start planning our attack on that pesky bacteria that we are all too familiar with, Fire blight.  Though some seasons are worse than others, fire blight always seems to be found. But, there are some things that you can do to help suppress the symptoms of this unsightly pest.

First, prune those trees. Get rid of that diseased and infested wood.

It is immensely important to be sure and clean your pruning tools in between cuts, as pruning is one of the fastest ways that we spread the bacteria, though insects do play a crucial role in this as well, we want to make sure we do not exacerbate the problem. Also, pay attention to the infection on those branches! You need to make sure that you cut 6” below the lowest sign of bacteria, otherwise you will leave some of that infection behind.

Once pruned, it’s time to look at suppression of the bacteria.

You do want to wait at least 2 weeks before doing trunk injection so that your pruning sites have a chance to seal themselves off. ArborOTC should be injected into the tree prior to leaf out, which can be tricky in our area. Keep your eyes out for those warm temperatures, they are sure to promote flowering quickly in the spring. Remember that it takes some time for the material to travel throughout the tree.

Finally, a note of caution.

You may notice late season symptoms of an infection, or a customer may call and say the treatment did not work.  Fire blight only shows up in our cooler months, once it gets warm Botryosphaeria canker now shows up.  Botryosphaeria canker is also caused by a fungal infection and the symptoms are very similar to Fire blight.  The treatment for this disease is Phospho-jet.