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


I’m 1 for 5 on cutting back leaders to get rid of fb, I think mainly because I did not act soon enough. My goldrush is the only success. The rest eventually become symptomatic in the stump that was left. I was very careful bleaching my tools so the FB was likely systemic before I cut. The copper may help reduce FB on the surface but won’t kill what’s in the tree. I would not seal the cut surface so that you can monitor it for symptoms. Im hoping the fb is less aggressive in your climate. It’s probably wishful thinking but I wonder if overwinter survival of cankers is lower up there?


Thanks for the reply blueberry and barry. I will try to take the leader down. I will be careful bleaching my tools also, thanks for the reminder. It would be nice if the survival rate was lower here, we didn’t have a crazy cold winter, but we did get to -15 several times, and highs in the single digits for weeks. Pretty average winter if I had to put a word to it. I’m in a prairie like setting with lots of blowing, so maybe that could help my case.

If I do cut back the leader, and it comes back, I agree, I will just remove the tree and replace it. I’m practicing my grafting skills so with any hope I’ll have plenty of replacement trees. Thanks again for the replies. I’m really glad I found this forum. Very helpful and the people seem very nice!


First strikes of 2018 found yesterday. One was blossom only on grimes golden that I pinched off, another on pink lady had moved from the blossom to the shoot, I pruned off. Hoping for the best.

For prevention, I used two sprays of copper with a spreader/sticker pre-bloom and have used Serenade weekly with the same spreader/sticker. Still haven’t used antibiotics, maybe next year.


My apples are fine, but the pears are infected. I’ve already
sprayed 3 times with agrimycin and planning to do a fourth
as soon as it stops raining.


Are you hitting them with copper? Fireblight can be very difficult to control in pears. I’ve had years where I lost all year.


Last year i did no sprays and my trees were hammered with FB. This year i’ve been spraying agrimycin on the open flowers within 24 hrs ahead of each rain. I’ve seen one blossom hit so far. That’s on a total of two trees with lots of blooms. The Bradford pears in my area are starting to show some shoot blight. I hope my trees hold up.


Last year I had a few strikes of FB but as of now none has been observed for 2018.


No I’ve never had any luck with copper. I’m pruning out the usual
strikes and hitting the blooms with agrimycin. Fb is a fact of life,
when growing pears in the South.


I have an Apple Tree that is distressed. Fireblight? One branch has green leaves/buds. The rest are brown.




Not sure - None of my other trees show any freeze damage. I have trees blooming and the blooms show no damage.


That’s not freeze damage. I’d vote FB.


I think you are right - but how did it get fire blight with no blooms this early in the season? Maybe I missed it from last year?


What variety is in the photo?


It is either Zestar or SnappyMac on dwarf rootstock. Came from StarkBros in 2016. Rootstock is unknown because Stark doesn’t tell you.


How about this young branch on my Asian Pear?


FB, looks like


Took out that spur. The cross section of the cut was clean and green. Do I take out the adjacent spur too?


You shouldn’t have to, but keep an eye on it.


My Harrow Sweet was hit pretty hard with fireblight-4 strikes on a second year tree.

The Ubileen 12 feet to the left of it has had 0. There’s not much info available on the Ubileen and fireblight so thought I’d share my experience.