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fireblight flowering tree diseases

Photos courtesy of Larry Costello PhD - University of California


Fireblight is caused by the bacteria Erwinia amylovora, which attacks the trees from the flowers to the twigs and then branches. Fireblight gets its name from the burnt appearance of affected blossoms and twigs.


The disease usually appears in the spring when the tree is in bloom. Infected blossoms, leaves, and twigs wilt, shrivel and turn brown with the infection spreading through the flower cluster base. They appear scorched.

In more advanced stages of infestation cankers and oozing appear on branches. Fireblight most often appears on apple, pear, crabapple, mountain ash, hawthorn, plum, and cotoneaster.

Pollinating insects, wind, birds and rain often spread the disease to nearby trees.

Pruning Recomendations

As soon as the infection appears, diseased twigs and limbs should be removed by pruning 10 - 18 inches below any sign of infection. Trees that are severely infected with large cankers on the trunk should be removed. Tools must be disinfected between each cut or the pruning may spread the disease.

Arborwell Tree Service's Wellness Approach

Common species: Pear, Photinia

Applications during the flowering season can help control this unsightly bacteria. Arborwell technicians apply agri-mycin and folier fertilization to manage the unsightly Fireblight bacteria.

Download a PDF about Fireblight disease

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Pruning & Removals are not part of the Wellness programs

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