Fire Blight in Apple Tree?
Hi, we are located in Minneapolis and are trying to determine the extent of fire blight damage to our apple tree, and how much we should cut it. We have seen black charred looking bark, and two small (about 1 to 2 meter) branches with curled dead leaves and shriveled apples, on opposite sides of the tree. We started cutting back the wood from the clearly infected areas earlier this season and noticed dark reddish brown splotchy stained appearance in the core of the main branches. Now that we are done harvesting apples for the season, we started cutting from these areas again, and are seeing more of the dark splotchy wood. We have been trying to determine if this is an indicator of fire blight continuing down the tree, or if dark heart wood is normal. We don't want to cut back more than necessary to eliminate the infection. We would appreciate your opinion.
Hennepin County Minnesota
Dark colored heartwood is common if not universal in many tree species. It's not an indicator of fireblight infection in apple trees.
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That's a relief. Thank you very much!