[NAFEX] Fireblight

William C. Garthright billg at inebraska.com
Sat May 30 09:45:20 EDT 2009

When thinning my apples a couple of days ago, I discovered a number of 
dead spurs on my Suncrisp tree. It sure looks like the pictures I've 
seen of fireblight. This is one of the four apple trees planted in the 
same spot - and very close to my Asian pears - so I'm worried that the 
disease will spread. So far, though, I haven't seen any sign of it on 
the other three varieties - Honeycrisp, Goldrush, and Fulford Gala - 
planted there. However, I did see one dead shoot on my Pink Lady apple 
on the other side of yard.

I pruned off the dead spurs - disinfecting the pruner after each cut 
with Lysol spray disinfectant - but I couldn't cut below the dead area 
on most of them without removing most of the main scaffolds of the tree. 
Well, I suppose I'll end up doing that if it really IS fireblight and it 
continues to spread. Any suggestions here? I've heard that you can use 
Streptomycin spray, but I don't have a clue where to get something like 
that. I've also heard that copper spray helps, but that's for dormant 
spraying only, right? How fast does fireblight normally spread?

Note that it's been very dry here this year. We've had only about 1/4 of 
our usual precipitation YTD (which isn't a whole lot even in normal 
years). I don't know if that makes fireblight more or less likely, or 
has no effect. Just thought I'd mention it.

And this is a case where crowding probably makes a bad situation worse, huh?

Lincoln, NE (zone 5)

If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out? - Will 

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