Trees lost to fireblight in 2023

Sorry to hear about the losses everyone! When in doubt cut it out! Everyday it hits more trees here.

Oh, Clark . . . so sorry to hear this.
I can’t understand why, but only some of my apples were damaged. No fireblight appeared on any of my pears. Even Anjou and Bartlett . . . not a single ‘flag’. I suspect my apple problem was caused by my pruning and introducing infected scion wood. I’m very leery, now, about grafting . . . and think I’ll quit while I’m ahead. So far it looks like I may have halted the spread. Time will tell.

I lost a large successful grafted limb of Harrow Delight this year. :frowning_face: Not to fireblight . . . but because I tried to spread it and it snapped. I then cut it up into scions and grafted it back into the same tree, and into another, as well. I cannot recall if I received that Harrow Delight scion from you - or someone else. ? But, it was a good one! That variety grows so fast and produces early! I was bummed to have ruined it.

I always watch what you are doing - and your suggestions about Pears. thanks. - Karen

Going back through this thread . . . seems like just about everyone is having unusual ‘out of the blue’ fireblight issues this year. This is my first real experience since I planted a little Bartlett in 2018 (?) and noticed blight. I cut it way back at that time and have grafted over a lot of it. No more blight anywhere, since - until this Spring.

But it hit my apples

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Thats what I have had for the last many years, only apple/quince were getting hit, but this year my Seckel is getting nailed. Kosui also got a fair number of strikes. All the other pears only have a couple strikes, nothing major.

I feel there is a good chance I will lose a whole tree of something this spring but so far no major trunk strikes. Sorry to hear about all your losses Clark.

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Steve, maybe it is a selective strain of fireblight. Is this possible? Cause my pears are all clean, too. Just apple strikes. AND - almost all of it appeared where I had recently pruned or grafted. And in one area of my orchard only.

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Same experience with Seckel-- had it only a few years before blight riddled it and I cut it down. I put it in a category lower than Potomac, Magness, Warren, Harrow Sweet.

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There is a very real chance Seckel is the victim of its own success. How so? Stuart pecan has been planted so widely that there are countless millions of trees throughout the south. As a result, scab had trillions of opportunities to overcome Stuart’s scab tolerance. The result after over 100 years is that Stuart is no longer considered scab tolerant. The same may be happening with Seckel. It has been very widely planted giving fireblight countless opportunities to figure out how to overcome Seckel’s documented tolerance.

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@hambone @scottfsmith

My first seckel experience was like yours the tree was riddled with blight and died. Reading about seckels tolerance i suspected it was not seckel at all that was sold to me as seckel. Got some scion wood from the usda that is the real seckle and have had no fireblight strikes on it yet after 8 years. @39thparallel wanted me to try a larger seckle he grows and again no fireblight strikes after 8 years. Most trees sold as seckle are not seckle at all. Im not saying that is the situation, but mentioning it because of my own experience.

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That’s good to know. Does 39th’s large Seckel taste like your USDA Seckel? If yes I’ll buy some sticks from him.

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@hambone

I’m going to try them side by side this year and will let you know.

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My pear trees survived but were hit hard by the late freeze (22F) and or firblight. The trees were in heavy bloom and several had small limbs growing. After the freeze all blank broke loose and one minute I was thinking freeze damage and the next I was blaming FB. I still don’t know if it was a combination. Odd thing is that the Harrow Sweet was hit the hardest. It is water under the bridge now and by the time I cut out the damage I had brought the tree size back down to a level I wanted. Even though my orchard is small I have other fruit varieties that are doing well. The apples and muscadines look good as of now.

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Sometimes problems end up being a blessing in disguise.
I didn’t have the ‘Newbie Courage’ to train some of my early trees adequately. Left too many branches. Now - since having to cut things way back this spring, to cut out disease or problems . . . my trees look like they have better form and are more open to airflow.
I was forced to make corrections, recently, that I should have made much earlier.

I’m keeping a close eye on my grafted varieties and their susceptibility to problems. I am considering limiting them to only those that seem to be dodging most diseases. I went ‘Frankentree’ crazy when I first learned to graft. Now I see the problems that choosing so many varieties creates - and that some of what I wanted to try - just doesn’t thrive where I live. It’s all so tempting!

With the “Fireblight of 2023” looming - I am not going to do any further cutting right now, other than taking out new fireblight strikes. I’ll make further improvements when everything is dormant this winter.

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@PomGranny What varieties of yours are you most worried about?

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@hambone Well, my most treasured grafts are Esopus Spitz - started last year and I added more this year. So far, they look OK. I am very surprised.

I had to cut out a couple of grafted branches of Granny Smith. I had to take Priscilla out. The rest of the damage is rather ‘scattered’. Early Mac had some hits. But I think it will be OK. Monark has something going on - don’t think it’s fireblight.
Now . . . none of these have given me apples yet. So I don’t know if I’d miss them or not. ?!! I had to cut back Akane to almost nothing. Some of my Ashmead’s Kernel had fireblight damage. But, its a big tree . . . and only a few branches had FB.
There appears to also be quite a lot of ‘something else’. Some rust . . . and maybe scale? I haven’t ID’d it yet. OR it could just be reaction to my spray. ? That’s the problem - I don’t have enough experience, yet, to be able to know what is going on.

I tried grafting over a lot of a little Pink Lady on G-890. Several of your Belle d’Boskoop scions are on there. Wealthy is on that tree - and I think I cut most of it out a couple of weeks ago. Winecrisp is on that tree, too. It seems to be OK.

I am quite certain that my pruning this Spring introduced the fireblight. It only seems to be showing up where I had worked on a tree. The Pink Lady is fairly decimated now!

I have a Grimes Golden that I grafted myself - on G-969. It is showing some signs of stress of some sort. I hope I don’t lose that one. I have a difficult time distinguishing between what might be a blossom blight and fireblight. I cut it back, just to be sure.

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I like your pruning. Grimes and Spitzenburg were both blight monsters for me. Hope this blight year is an aberration and not a new normal. In hindsight I gave Boskoop good blight rating probably incorrectly- just that we hadn’t had blight pressure for a decade here. Now this year boy does it have blight.

I found FB on my Harrow Delight for the first time this year. So far that is the only pear I have seen it on, but have to check the orchard closely this weekend. In another thread, you mentioned you break the infected branches out, rather than risk getting the bacteria on your pruners or saw.

Is that still your preferred method? You leave the rough area where you snapped the branch off until you are sure there is no further infection, then go back and prune back cleanly to a bud?

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@KSprairie

Exactly break off the branch. Keep in mind fireblight is on the rise because of the cool temperatures we have had. The hotter temperatures are coming and when they arrive the fireblight will slow down. Fireblight is as bad as it has been in my lifetime this year. It is hitting ancient trees this year that have never been hit before that i have seen. The most resistant trees like warren, kieffer, etc. all have strikes.

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wow. That’s terrible how widespread it is.
When I walked through the orchard this morning, I also found it in Harrow Sweet, Honey Sweet, Burford, Warren, and possibly a few other Euro pears. There are some leaves that are black along the edges but no other signs yet on those.

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@KSprairie

100% of the trees are showing strikes this year!

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That is terrible. I am so sorry!!! I better be vigilant watching for it in the rest of the trees. I don’t usually get home after work with much daylight left, so I missed the first signs of it earlier in the week. I’ll have to start checking trees early in the morning before I leave for work.

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@KSprairie

It’s ok. These are resistant types of pears thankfully!