Fire Blight ~ How To Deal With It

I have to admit, we have always been very lucky here as far as the health our animals and plants have been, including our trees. This year, I’m a little concerned. With this months’ cold fronts and the rainy spring, we are looking at possibly dealing with Fire Blight on our fruit trees. Fire Blight is a bacterial disease that is contagious, and will kill a tree, mostly affecting fruit trees. Sign up to “Follow The Blog” and find out what happens to our trees.

How it Moves

Fire Blight will jump from fruit tress to Ceder trees back to fruit in alternate years. This year, it is going from the Ceders to the Fruit trees. With cold temps and wet weather bringing the Rust Gall Balls to life. The wind will then carry the spores from one tree to the other and the cycle starts all over again.

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Fire Blight on Juniper Tree

How to Protect Your Fruits

The only way to really get rid of any threat to our fruit trees is to cut down all the ceders within a 200 yr (or better) radius (and that is no gaurentee). We are working on that, but we have Junipers, which are very invasive. You must also spray the fruit trees BEFORE the disease is able to move from Ceder to Fruit tree. Fire Blight will do worse damage to a flowering tree, as compared to one that has not yet put out any blooms.

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Fire Blight on Apple leaf

This would have been our first year getting a good harvest off of our Apple Trees.  I’ve been looking forward to that for 3 years now! I will be crushed if this Fire Blight gets my harvest. But, so far, so good. Looks like we got sprayed them in time. On the down side of that, I could not find any organic spray to use, so had to use a commercial fungicide. I know, I’m not real happy about it either, believe me!

As long as the leaves on our apple trees don’t start to look like the picture below, we should be good.

Update – May 27, 2016: The Blight did manage to get one of our Apple trees pretty good.  The leaves are turning brown and dropping early. All we can do now with this tree is to keep the ground area around the tree clean of any fallen leaves, and prune off any branches that might be affected. Keep your fingers crossed for us.  There is sure more to come on this story, sign up to “Follow The Blog” to know how we have faired.

Here is to hoping your fruit trees stay safe!

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3 Responses

  1. Natasha says:

    Growing fruit trees is a patience game. This is like a horror story. I hope your apple trees survive.

  2. Lora Frost says:

    Blight is such a crazy disease! How many other fruit trees do you have? Have you considered using a compost tea to boost the beneficial bacteria in the soil around your other trees?

    Fingers crossed for the rest of your trees!!

    • msteiner says:

      Luckily, we just have the 2 apples, and we also have 4 peach tress. I have considered the compost tea, do you have a recipe you would recommend?

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