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John Fulton


John Fulton
Former County Extension Director



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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis
fire blight on apple

Fireblight on pear and apple

Posted by John Fulton -

Another leaf problem, but a different host set…. There is a large amount of tip dieback in some varieties of pears and apples, and this is probably fire blight. Look for a shepherd’s crook at the tip of the affected areas as a clue it is fire blight. Fire blight is a bacterial disease, therefore there is little chance for you to treat it. The Bradford ornamental pear is also being infected, as the new growth is withering. They are rated as “moderately resistant,” but diseases have a way of changing over time. This allows them to get around the bred-in resistance.

The common treatment in commercial operations is streptomycin, but it has to be applied before symptoms appear. Bordeaux mixture can also help prevent the disease (applied before the infection next year). Many infections happen at the time of flowering. Also, prune out disease cankers when dormant.



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