Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Treating Fireblight

Fire blight is a bacterial disease which can affect apple, pear and crabapple trees. Symptoms include dead branches, light brown to black leaves and a “burnt” look.
Fire blight can be spread by insects, wet spring snow and rain and by pruning practices. If you’ve seen infected trees in your neighborhood, you should spray your trees to help them disease free. Apply streptomycin when blossoms first open and weekly during the bloom period.
Streptomycin can be found in Fertilome Fire Blight Spray. If your tree is already showing Fire Blight symptoms, it is still important to apply streptomycin.
In addition, you may prune infected branches in the spring, but it’s important to disinfect your pruners between each cut or you will spread the disease down the branch. Select a point on the branch 10" to 12" from the point of infection. Make your cut, then dip your pruners in a bleach solution or spray your pruners with a household disinfectant. Another option is to put off pruning until the tree goes dormant in mid-winter. At this point, it will be easier to see the infected branches, pruners don’t have to be sterilized and the chances of spreading the disease are minimized. 
For a positive identification on fire blight, bring a sample to the Diagnostic Center. We’ll answer your questions and show you how to apply Fire Blight Control.

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