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fire blight question

Posted by windfall_rob vt4 (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 29, 13 at 11:25

I will try to get an image up later today, but I have a tree showing a widespread rapid wilting and browning out of leaves. The damage is spread evenly throughout the canopy not associated with anyparticular limbs or branches.

What is odd about it (to me) is that by in large the leaves that are effected are those growing right around the terminal bud scar from the beginning of this season. The rest of the shoot appears healthy....so the oldest leaves only.

No classic shepard crooks

Can fireblight show this way? I had always thought infection of small shoots would rapidly wilt the entire tip.

Also this has been present for about 2 weeks (possibly more) and does not appear to be spreading or showing new leaves wilting out.

We had a long stretch of very wet weather followed by a week of intense heat a while back. This tree is in a marginal soil location and could well have been suffering from wet feet this year. I am wondering if the combo of water logged soils and then heat stress might be accounting for the damage.

To further complicate things, I have seen damage similar to this after high heat before. but it has always been caused from twigs infested with OFM and presumably not able to keep up with the required water loads in the heat.

This tree definitely got hit hard by OFM this year, but When I inspect the present damage I am not finding a correlation to the wilting and OFM injury.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: fire blight question

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 29, 13 at 12:35

What species? Usually OFM and FB don't affect same species do they? FB on pome fruits, OFM on stone fruits, right?

Sounds more like water damage.


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RE: fire blight question

The tree is a KIngston Black apple which is supposedly highly susceptible to Fireblight.

I am hoping water damage is the issue. Fireblight has never been present in our orchard in years past, But I had something a lot like fireblight cankers on a harrwow sweet pear this spring that got pruned out...so my "radar" for it has been turned up.

I wish the OFM would leave the apples alone...I see no fruit damage from them, but we get 2 rounds of egg laying in the growing tips, the more significant in the late spring.

All our apples get hit to varying extent, but I have not seen the damage in the pears. It's become a growing problem over the last 3-4 years. I have tried to keep up by just pruning out flagging tips, but it has clearly not been enough.

I know Scott has had some success with mating disruption and I need to look into that.
I think if I could get the timing just right on Bt or spinosad I could hopefully still get things reined in. Barring that my options are limited if continuing to go the organic route.


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