What is Fireblight?
Fireblight is a bacterial disease spread from tree to tree during blossom by pollinating insects, birds, and even raindrops. Fireblight infects apple trees, ornamental crabapple trees, pear trees, mountain ash, cotoneasters, and other various types of ornamentals. Fireblight can kill branches and even entire plants if not treated properly by a professional lawn and tree care expert.
What are the symptoms of Fireblight?
Fireblight is identified by the presence of branches that show signs of die back and the leaves will appear wilted or dried. The twigs and branches will also be discolored and blackened. Symptoms will start to appear shortly after petal fall and continue into mid-summer. The disease will also overwinter in infected twigs and branches.
Depending on if the trees have already been infected with the disease or not, there are a couple different options in regards to control and preventative mitigation of the disease. Upon identification of the disease, it is very important that the infected twigs and branches be pruned out of the tree. The infected branches need to be pruned at least six inches into the uninfected portion of the tree branch to prevent further spread. It is also very crucial that the pruning tools be disinfected between each pruning cut. This can be achieved by mixing a Clorox solution with water or by using any other household disinfectant spray. Trees that may be susceptible to the disease can be treated on a preventative basis. The particular systemic injection used for this type of treatment should be performed by a professional arborist. A fertility program is also highly recommended for these particular trees to ensure increased health and vigor.