fire blight

Seanna Annis sannis at
Sat Jun 11 16:01:46 EST 1994

bob (bmcnulty at wrote:
: 	Anyone know of a good remidy for fire blight?  Currently I am cutting
: off the affected areas about 3 to 5 inches below the obvious signs of the
: blight.  I have been sanitizing the shears in a bleach solution after each
: cutting.  After a month of selective cutting my pear tree is begining to look
: like a bonsai.  Is there any hope?  Should I be doing something differently or
: in addition to the pruning?

: 	Any help would be appreciated.

: 					Thanks
: 						Bob in Chico

 You are doing the right thing, but at the wrong time of the year.  It is 
supposed to work better if you prune in the winter, but your tree may be 
dead by then.  I would suggest being more aggressive.   Prune farther 
down from the infected area, the bacteria can travel through the branch 
with no outward symptoms.  Try 8 inches.  Bleach the surface of the cut, 
better to put some kind of wound dressing on it, otherwise the bacteria 
can just get in the wound again.  I don't know any wound dressing 
compounds off hand, try a nursery.   Burn or move as far away as 
possible (other side of town would be good) the diseased sections you 
have cut off.  I would also suggest checking with any neighbouring trees 
apples, pears to see if they have the disease too.  Insects are usually 
spreading the disease this time of year so any diseased tree nearby could 
act as a source of the disease for your tree.   

Good luck.   Seanna (plant pathologist in training, sannis at

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