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Fire Blight (Apples and Pears)

Fire Blight (Apples and Pears)


Can cause severe damage to apple and pear trees. Fire blight usually attacks blossoms, but infection and dieback of new shoots are common (see photo). The downward curled twig tip is characteristic of fire blight.


Cut off infected twigs and branches 12" below the dead area. Disinfect pruning tool between cuts by dipping in 10% solution of liquid bleach to avoid spreading disease. Use a harpin protein-based product as a preventive spray during bud break. Spray every 7-10 days at a rate of 1/2-3/4 cups per gallon. You can also control blight by spraying a copper soap product at silver tip and bud break, and repeat at 3- to 5-day intervals as needed, up to petal fall. We recommend Green Guard™ Plant Growth Enhancer and Soap-Shield® Flowable Liquid Copper Fungicide*.

*NOTE:Soap-Shield, as used in this recommendation, may cause russetting of Golden Delicious and similar susceptible apple varieties.

Curled Stem end is a typical sign of fire blight, which
damages apples, pears and some ornamentals.

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