Fire Blight- Bartlett Pear


I have been fighting fire blight on this Bartlett pear all summer. Thankfully my apples were all whips with no blooms, and haven’t shown symptoms thus far. I took out so many branches trying to go 18 inches back from the infected area. It looks like it is still going, do I take off this whole large branch? Any other suggestions?

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Yes amputate the infected branch asap. Next spring spray with copper prior to bloom.

Sorry about all the FB on your Bartlett. My area is where the Bartlett tree come to slowly die from FB. There must be some areas that can grow this pear but I haven’t seen any in my area.

What about spraying first around Thanksgiving? Would that give the treatment a boost?

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I think my area in the northeast may even have more FB than what you get in Utah. It’s funny though, it’s never struck any of the Bartletts I manage although it has a reputation for being susceptible.

Boscs and Seckels have been the main victims in my region- I manage scores of orchards so get a pretty good evaluation.

Here, we often get strikes well after flowering (shoot blight) and it is common for a susceptible pear to suffer really bad strikes while another susceptible variety right next to it is fine- also another orchard nearby is untouched.

I doubt spray treatment is really worth the effort unless you want to go to the trouble of applying streptomycin at proper times. Here, the disease comes and goes and most trees are saved by removing infected wood. It may be best during growing season to leave stub cuts to remove in early spring so you don’t wind up bringing the infection to big wood with fresh wounds on the trunk during FB season.

Do not encourage vigorous growth in the pear in any way, whether through too much nitrogen or irrigation. Moderate growth is key.


@alan, do you recommend treating the cut in any way to stave off infection? I’ve seen recommendations of dousing the cut with Pine-sol or alcohol or bleach or scorching it with a propane torch.

What length of stub do you leave? Is two inches enough or more than that? Thanks.

This has all the info you are asking for. Someone should post this in the guides section because it contains the most complete explanation of FB control I’ve ever seen and it’s info coincides with my own somewhat limited experience. My problem always seems to be shoot blight.


That’s a very useful article. Thanks.

Thank you for your advise. I am worried the fb has spread to the main trunk and would love opinions.

Well written and understandable. Thanks