Apple tree malady

Asked September 2, 2019, 5:01 PM EDT

Good afternoon,

I am trying to determine if this is a fungus or something more serious - hopefully not fire blight. I would appreciate any advise on how to proceed. I have attached a photo of one of the branches affected as well as a leaf that was curled up and dry...I wetted it and rolled it out for the photo. Thanks in advance for your time.

Jim Drake

Arapahoe County Colorado

5 Responses

Hello Jim,

Unfortunately, it does look like fire blight to me. Chemical treatments are not really effective. You can trim the fire blight out - you have to go 8"-12" back into healthy wood. Below is a link with more information. Be sure to follow proper sanitation practices.

Thanks very much for your pretty much confirms what I expected. Since it is fairly late in the season should I wait until winter to prune or should I get rid of any shepherd's crooks at this time and then prune deeper late in the year?

Thanks in advance ...again!


I did a thorough look at the tree and it appears that most of the main branches are showing new growth this year with shepherds crook down close to the trunk. I think I am pretty much dead in the water with trying to prune it back to health, the infection seems to be widespread. I think I will take it down.
I would like to plant a peach tree in its place. What concerns might I have here? I note the fire-blight does not target peaches. If you have a recommendation for a variety that is hardy and quite disease resistant I would appreciate it.
Finally, I would like to plant this year if it is not too late - I would buy a potted tree. If any of my thinking is off base, please advise.

Thanks very much,

Peach varieties suggested for CO are Elberta, Have, Polly, Reliance, Hale Haven and Ranger that do not require cross-pollination. For extended information on the pest that attack Peach trees and how to control them, check out 1204-Peaches. The best time to plant would be spring while the plant is still dormant, however you may plant now as long as the soil stays consistently warm. We are subject to early frost here in CO!

hope this helps!