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fireblight woes

Posted by thomis 7 (My Page) on
Wed, May 14, 14 at 14:31

In the 7 years since I planted my apple orchard, this has been the worst for FB. I really dropped the ball on spraying this spring b/c CAR was almost non-existant due to unfavorable weather conditions. I had to spray for CAR only once this spring when in years past I have had to spray 3 to 4 times in April and May. All that said to explain why I didn't spray for FB.
I pruned some out when it first appeared at blossom time but then I had to go out of town for work. Yesterday I spent nearly all day cutting FB out of most of my trees. Pretty sad. I burned a pile of limbs the size of a VW Beetle.
I got out my backpack sprayer and went to mix up a couple gallons of Fertilome (streptomycin) spray and after reading the label further, it says not to spray when fruit is visible. At this point I'm willing to sacrifice my crop to save the trees. I wonder if the fireblight will continue to spread from this point on? I don't know b/c I've never seen it this bad.
I'd like to hear your thoughts. Thanks,

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: fireblight woes

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Wed, May 14, 14 at 15:47

I don't think the antibiotic will help after bloom. It's not a systemic. Perhaps I'm wrong and someone will set us straight.

RE: fireblight woes

In bad fireblight years I've continued to lose branches and trees well on into the summer. I don't really have a lot of experience, but I'll tell you the conclusions I've come to as far as how to control fireblight.

First, I've given up on European pears that aren't supposed to be especially fireblight resistant. I'm not, however, convinced that the differences between Asian pears with regards to fireblight resistance are so significant or that the differences translate well from one location to another.

I've decided I won't plant/graft any more pears anywhere where they don't get sun the very first thing in the morning. I also prefer higher, windier spots to sheltered spots. I want my pears to dry off (especially dew) as quickly as possible.

I try now to be very proactive in pruning my pears. The theory I'm buying is that heavy dormant season pruning leads to a stronger growth response in the spring, and that extra lush, extra vigorous spring growth is extra susceptible to fireblight. So I try to pinch off and prune growth I'm not going to want as soon as I see it. I want to do as much pruning as I can as early in the growing season as I can so that there will be very little left to do in the dormant season.

RE: fireblight woes

  • Posted by Noogy 6 sw mi (My Page) on
    Wed, May 14, 14 at 21:08

Cousin Floyd,
You're on the right track I think as far as limiting winter pruning and instead prune throughout the summer. You'll get fruit faster andif you bend and train and prune sprouts in midsummer and from there on you can build some nice scaffolds. My bartlett bore fruit in 4 yrs, 5th year terrible spring/frost, last year 12 awesome pears, this year 7 I have an awesome pyramidal pear in full bloom. I'm 2 hrs away and hopefully some fruit lover buys the tree and the house. The property also has 10 Harrowsweets, a10' Ayers, a 4 yr 8' Magness, moonglow, clapps favorite and a 10' Hosui on BET with a tennosui branch.I only have had FB on the blooms of HarrowSweet, a small twig of bartlett and a small twig off Tennessee. They all are up on a hill, and get 1st sun and all through the day. I've never had an instance of FB on asians. Different strain?

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