Fire Blight on a chancellor pear tree

Asked May 18, 2020, 2:56 PM EDT

I bought a pear tree from a nursery a few months ago near Medford, all was well until a week ago it looked like it was wilting, it was found to have fire blight its only a few stems now and only one tree. I do have a spray but im waiting for dryer weather, 5/17 when i got the spray. its for fire blight, (only one tree on my home property lot in eagle pojnt) I cut the bad leaves off and stems and bagged those in the trash per the nursery. Nursery recommend to check with you to verify what they saw in the pictures.

Jackson County Oregon

1 Response

Fireblight is caused by a bacterium and spread by insects. Yes, your photos suggest fireblight (the "shepherd's crook" shape of the affected branch and leaf is typical). We hope that you cut back the affected branches by at least 12" below the area of the damage and sterilized your clippers between each cut (so as not to spread the disease further). Sterilize clippers with a 10% solution of bleach (1 cup bleach to 9 cups water). You properly disposed of the damaged leaves in the trash. Controlling fireblight is difficult. Fixed copper spray is generally recommended. There are some antibacterial sprays on the market, but they are difficult to use correctly. You should continue to spray the tree and blooms every 5 days until the end of the blossom period. Further information on fireblight can be found in publication EC691, "Managing diseases and insects in home orchards", which can be downloaded at extension.oregonstate.edu/publicationst. There is also a good discussion of fireblight in the Pacific Northwest Handbook on Disease. Enter the host (pear) and a few letters of the disease in the search box at pnwhandbooks.org/disease. We hope you are able to get ahead of this problem; unfortunately it is not an easy disease to control.