[NAFEX] Late fireblight

Alan Haigh alandhaigh at gmail.com
Sun Nov 25 08:22:51 EST 2007


I have been growing my own and managing for others a wide range of varieties
of pears here in the vicinity of southeastern NY for almost 20 years.  Based
on what I gathered from the literature, I began with the anticipation of
ongoing warfare with fire blight.  Experience has not met anticipation and
fire blight has not been a major issue.  On most sites, including my own
orchard, I've never seen a single strike.  Knock on wood.

There are two sites, however, where this tree-killer has reared its ugly
head but the timing of its attacks are strictly Che Guevara-  small attacks
when least expected.  I've always read that fire blight occurs in the spring
starting in the open blossoms with pollinaters as vector.  In the two
orchards where it has appeared the symptoms did not become visible until
mid-July.  In one site it hit a Bosc pear for 2 straight seasons while
leaving an adjacent Bosc and a Seckel alone.  So far, Ive had to remove
about 50% of the tree.

In the other site the strikes come about the same time and have also
appeared for the 2nd season but have been more widespread 2nd time around.
The first season only the Bosc was badly damaged but this year the quinces,
a red Bartlett and a Seckel also had some damage.  There was also a
scattering of strikes throughout the various varieties of apples but for
these trees the damage was minor.

I'm guessing the vector to be leaf-hoppers but that's an uneducated leap.
Does anyone out there have some information about late season fire blight?
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