[NAFEX] Effects of the Easter Freeze

nottke1 nottke1 at earthlink.net
Wed Jun 13 21:42:27 EDT 2007

I have an orchard with several varieties of pear and apple, trees range in age from 3 yrs to 100 years (old pears).  Over the past ten years, I would occasionally get modest fire blight damage if the weather was damp and cool during bloom time - some quick pruning always seemed to control it.
But this year the Easter morning freeze occurred when the pears were in full bloom and fire blight has appeared everywhere, but particularly on the large old pear trees.  A couple of these old pear trees are 25 ft tall and 60 ft crown spread, making pruning out of all the fireblight difficult.  So I vigorously pruned out blight on the younger small trees, and only lost one 4 yr old Kieffer, on which the blight went into the trunk.  On the large trees I did some pruning, but left mother nature to take care of a lot of it.  The blight on the older trees seems to be affecting only the previous years growth and is not spreading further, so my plan is to prune it all out this coming winter, when I have more time.  

Jim Nottke
Pfafftown, NC

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