The dreaded F word (Fireblight) is showing up in our orchards


These two (Liberty/Ark Bl) are slowly leafing out now and actually have a few new blooms at my house. If we can get a little more chill hours next winter I think they will be an easy to grow apples for us. Hope the FB strikes end soon for you.


My ark black still has some blooms too. I keep picking them off. Just did a couple today. I hope this FB stops soon. I’ve got some nice grafts of black limbertwig and grimes golden that seem to be doing well so far. I lost all my other grafts to FB and don’t want to lose these too. Sounds like we have similar varieties. It’s good to compare notes.


Has anyone had aphids cause a shoot blight infection? I pulled off a shoot on my Harrison apple yesterday that was just starting to flag. Since it was lower on the trunk than I will keep, I pulled it out. Today I found another one at scaffold level. But I’m not sure if the flagging was just from the aphids or FB infection. Besides the flagging, there are no other signs yet.


I don’t know what the cause and effect is exactly but I have seen what looks like fire blight on shoots with lots of aphids.


Tale of Two Trees: One Black Limbertwig in 100% sun in a wind corridor, pruned pretty open: has Zero fireblight.

Second Black Limbertwig: 80% sun, no wind corridor, somewhat boxed in among other trees, not pruned open: lots of blight.

Same age, same rootstock G30, same soil.

Lesson: sun, air, wide spacing and open structure help limit blight.


It is too early to tell on this shoot. It looks a lot better this afternoon after I made my thumb green with aphids. With everyone’s problems here with FB anything that starts to crook over is cause for paranoia.


Just curious, but how did you get a Black Limbertwig on G30? Is that something you grafted onto the rootstock? Have you had it to fruit yet?

How have conditions been for you this year in the area regarding fireblight?

Haven’t really seen much FB on the farm, and it’s been really rainy this spring, but it also hasn’t been too warm either. I seem to have quite a bit of CAR, tho, just like last year. I don’t know where it’s coming from, I can’t recall seeing any cedars in our area.


Four years ago I bench-grafted a bunch of apple varieties on G30, kept some, gave most away to local friends. I’m no expert on FB but conditions seemed good here for blight the last month.


New strike on a grafted tree. Killed down to the callery rootstock! Fireblight does not live here but it visits from neighbors at times.


Ouch! I hope it doesn’t visit me again for a long time.


A great illustration for warning people about this disease


Hello, I was out pruning this morning and found our Early transparent apple covered with strikes. First time this has happened here, used to see occasional strikes but nothing like this. It finally got warm yesterday after a month of cold rain. Cut out as many as I could, but I would like to keep some green on the tree. Pears not to affected (yet?) will check them out later. Steering broke on my old tractor, holding it together with loc-tight for now, have to order some parts.



The weather seems perfect for fireblight but fortunately the migrating birds and insects have not brought much of it.


I have made a very interesting observation about fire blight, I have been trying to root some pear cuttings. Fire blight hit them all, lets use Hosui as an example since some people say that it’s very fire blight resistant, and some people say that it’s very fire blight sensitive. Well I have 5 Hosui cuttings all in the same soil, all came from the same tree, in the same homemade air pot, and of course in the same two spots, since the fire blight started in a different location than where it is now. All the Hosui cuttings lost their vegetation, or the leaves look funny, 3 of the Hosui cuttings got hit way worst than the others, 2 of the five almost seem immune against fire blight, if it were not for the leaves showing signs of fire blight then I would have not suspected that they even had fire blight. I am starting to wonder if immunity might not have much to do with variety, that every scion from the same tree has a different level of resistance, and of sensitivity. If so then why! Maybe some varieties at average are more resistant and less sensitive.


Today I was walking my dog and noticed that one of the limbs on my Williams Pride Apple Tree had started to wilt. The wilt happened overnight. Looking at it closer and it looks like fire blight. I am a little confused - I thought fire blight spread through blooms? This tree is 3rd year in the ground and never bloomed. The blight was only 2 to 3 inches from the trunk when I cut the limb - what are my chances that I stopped the fire blight from spreading to the truck? The tree is on G41 rootstock which I thought combined with the Williams Pride would have made it pretty fire blight resistant. Should I spray agrimycin on the tree? I am going to add some pictures - they are not the best.


It looks to me like FB. I would cut the infected limb off at the trunk. It would be good to get a few more opinions.


I cut it - FB or no FB it wasn’t healthy. Just worried about the rest of the tree and my other trees. I have a dozen or so apple trees. I do not want this to spread.


Cut it off and burn it asap!


Surprising Blight Comment from Penn State 2017 articleI just saw this morning:

“Disinfecting pruning tools is ineffective for minimizing spread of the disease since the bacteria often are present internally in mature bark well in advance of symptom margins.”

Anyone else confused by this?

Full article


I have seen that suggestion from Penn State and others. I’m not sure disinfecting the pruning tool kills the FB bacteria but its not a lot more work so I do it.

When I had a major FB outbreak a few years ago, I found that the more FB I removed, the more it returned. Later, I was advised to quit cutting it out until fall.