What is this?

Is this fire blight?

I think so. If others agree I’d recommend being very aggressive in removing the branch all the way back to the trunk. If the trunk is infected I’d plant on getting the tree gone as soon as possible.


I’m no expert but I typically think of fire blight as effecting new growth starting at the tips of the limbs. But I could be wrong. Maybe that’s a damaged or wounded limb that’s given up the ghost.

Which I agree with- and I’m well known as being over-prone to diagnosing FB. So don’t go by my guess alone. Others will help.

You can start safely by cutting the branch off in sections- when it cuts clean you can feel better. And it’s a good sign that the shoot behind that darkened branch looks so healthy.

May just be me.

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that is fire blight. Prune the limb off or scrap it back to clean wood. I’ve even sprayed Clorox on the wound after scrapping then followed up with copper.


Outdoor334, do you then seal it off with anything?

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Looks like FB to me, it’s identical to what happened to the trunk of my young Anna apple…

and I completely agree with what @marknmt said, cut back to the trunk. if you see even a hint of infection there remove the tree…

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fwiw I had fireblight on an Asian pear this year–it sucked, but in the end I cut the trunk at about 4" from the ground…better safe and I could see black on the trunk as well as branches. It was only like a 6’ tree, but keeping the rootstock, since it was ok, means suckers are coming up fast to graft to next spring…still faster growth, I am betting, than buying a new bareroot.


Variety of apple? Rootstock?

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Matt, Could the transplanting have caused weakness and susceptibility to fireblight? I have another tree with fireblight also. It is a Red Delicious. It was from arbor day on M7. None of the geneva or B9 have the fireblight.

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Fireblight has very little rhyme or reason, it’s extremely unpredictable. M7 actually is one of the most resistant to fireblight rootstocks, but this does not guarantee anything.

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Some scion varieties are more susceptible than others. Same w rootstocks. The Budagovsky, Geneva, and 111 stocks are supposed to be most resistant.

Yeah, transplant can stress a tree. Overapplication of nitrogen fertilizers can cause too much growth, which also stresses the tree, and provides ample opportunity for blight. Blight likes lots of new growth; that’s where it enters and infects the tree.

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Thanks Matt!

I mixed dry copper in latex paint and 25% water. the paint sealed the wound and held the copper in place.

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Any reason you couldn’t do that with liquid copper?

To play devil’s advocate here- do we know, for sure, that it is FB? Or, is that just a comfortable concensus because nobody looked quite closely enough?!

Just saying …

YES! if I had liquid I would have used it. I used WP Copper since it is all I had. I primarily use WP sprays since I believe they dry and stay on the tree longer.

Since I treated all my wounds, then started preventive sprays during bloom with Copper, Oxytetracycline and Streptomycin; I have not had ANY FB (and I’m in FB central). I have not seen FB on my Gala and Pink Lady in 3 straight summers. Seems I have stopped FB in it’s tracks. I’m more worried now about chill hours, squirrels, raccoons and late season stink bugs damaging the fruit.

As far as if this case is FB or not - I’m only going with my own findings. I researched my tree wounds (that are identical to the ones in this post) and they matched up with FB photos. Also, I saw these wounds mostly on my trees that were heavily infected with the traditional FB symptoms during summer (burnt ends with candy cane bends towards the tip).

Please let us know what you conclude as time will tell.