Fire Blight is No Delight
As an arborist, I can spot spring coming in February when a faint reddish tinge starts to color the woods. This tells me trees are starting to stir, and warmth will soon be on its way. Despite the early clues that I am looking for, I am always amazed by the vibrancy of life once trees have fully emerged. Yes, I love the stage when trees are flowering, but somehow once trees are fully leafed out they look so alive, so perfect, so unblemished. No bugs, no drought stress, no fungal diseases – just full, green leaves.
And then… pests and pathogens let us know that they have been waiting for spring as well. What can we say? Life the way we know it is varied and expressed by many different forms, each trying to survive in its own way.
This year has been a particularly bad one for fire blight on Pear and Apple trees. Fire blight is a bacterial disease that affects plants in the Rosaceae family, causing a characteristic blackened wilting of leaves and twigs. This family of plants is also popular for its landscape value, both for flowers and fruit production. Pear, Cherry, Rose, Apple, Serviceberry, Cotoneaster, Hawthorn are just a few trees and shrubs that are very familiar to us. Have you noticed a profusion of dead, blackened leaves in your neighborhood? In your trees?
There are ways to stave off the progression of the disease, even now. Ideally, the trees would be treated earlier in the season for better control, but a combination of steps are recommended for trees that are highly susceptible to the disease. Treatment steps vary depending on how affected your tree is.
Thanks for being our client, and for loving your trees! I’ll see you out there.
Your friendly neighborhood arborist,
ISA BCMA® OH-5129B
3 Tips to Check for Fire Blight
- Check if your tree's leaves are browning only at the tips of the limbs
- Check if limbs have the "Shepherd's Crook" (FYI - The Shepherd's Crooks doesn't always occur in trees infected with fire blight but it an obvious sign of the Fire Blight inspection.)
- If you suspect your tree has fire blight, please click here or call 614-895-7000 and we'll send a Certified Arborist to review the tree and give you a quote to treat the issue