Fire blight

Asked May 31, 2018, 10:20 AM EDT

I have a problem with some pear trees and my lilac bushes. When I googled it all I got was it is fire blight It says the only thing you can do is cut all the affected limbs out . Not what causes it or how yo keep it from spreading. I have never heard of this before . Thanks for any input . Starts out with shriveled up leaves then they turn Brown . Can't be from lack of water this year. I live on Kent island.

Queen Anne's County Maryland

3 Responses

Fireblight is caused by a bacterium. The disease enters plants through natural openings, especially flowers and wounds in the spring. It can be spread from diseased to healthy plants by rain, wind, and pruning tools. Fireblight is most common in plants in the rose family (rosaceae), of which lilac is not a member. You might instead be seeing symptoms of lilac bacterial blight (caused by a different bacterium). This causes blackening of new shoots, a symptom similar to what you would see with fireblight. Information on how to manage lilac blight can be found here on our website:


Thanks but what about my pear tree issue?

In the pear, it is most likely fireblight. It can affect both edible and ornamental pear trees including Bradford pears. Take a look at the photos and information about it on our website to compare with the symptoms you are seeing.
You are welcome to send us photos of the symptoms if you would like us to take a look to confirm it.