Treating fire blight in apple tree without pruning?

Asked May 31, 2018, 9:32 PM EDT

Our 10 year old honey crisp apple tree has suffered from fire blight every year for the last few (or at least that's what it looks like- see photo), and each year I do the recommended pruning with sterilized pruners, and the tree survives another year. We were out of the country since January and so couldn't do anything preventative this spring, and now we have it again, currently affecting about 10% of the tree. For the *first time*, we have a large potential crop of apples and I am loathe to do the aggressive pruning, as we will lose nearly all apples if I do. Is there anything else I can do? Thanks so much.

Denver County Colorado

1 Response

Pruning out diseased stems is best done in the winter months when the resulting bacterial ooze is less likely to attract insects who will transport it and infect uninfected areas of the tree or when rain is splashing the ooze to new areas of potential infection.

Here's the fact sheet from CSU Extension on Fire Blight: