Fire Blight-How serious?

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by decumbent, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. decumbent

    decumbent Member

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    I've heard different arguments regarding the severity of fireblight to plants. Is this a disease that greatly weakens and/or kills trees and shrubs, or is it more of an aesthetic problem?

    Scott
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    It will kill quite a number of species and cultivars, including some commercially important orchard apple and pear cultivars. On some others, it is more of a nuisance, causing little damage but with these acting as carriers allowing the disease to persist in an area.
     
  3. treelover3

    treelover3 Active Member

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    I'm glad that someone posted this. Does Fire blight just affect plants in the rose family? Or, what plants are the most susceptible?
    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  4. Lucky_P

    Lucky_P Member

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    Scott,
    In my experience, it can vary from aesthetically troublesome to potentially lethal.
    Some pears, like Keiffer, Orient, and apples like Yellow Transparent take fireblight hits, shrug 'em off, and keep right on ticking - it's not at all unusual to see those old war-worn matriarchs in the rural landscape, dotted with blighted shoots every year, but they march right along, making crops of fruit that bend and break branches.
    Then, there are other varieties, like Bartlett & Clapp's Favorite pears, Esopus Spitzenberg and Pink Pearl apples that are fireblight magnets, and unless you're really on top of things, they'll blight all the way down to the graft union before you know it.
    Sometimes, even the 'FB-resistant' varieties fail. I had a nice young Seckel pear which had been growing in the orchard for 10 years, and subsequent to a late frost, which opened avenues for infection other than blooms, it blighted almost back to the graft union before I knew what was happening.
     
  5. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I do know it is a huge quarantine thing over here. Imports of apples from fire blight areas are banned. Australia is apparently totaly free of it. At least of the sort that affects apples

    Liz
     
  6. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yes, and within the rose family, only those in the apple subfamily (Maloideae) - Amelanchier, Aronia, Chaenomeles, Cotoneaster, Crataegus, Cydonia, Eriobotrya, Heteromeles, Malus, Mespilus, Osteomeles, Photinia, Pseudocydonia, Pyracantha, Pyrus, Rhaphiolepis, Sorbus.
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    >subsequent to a late frost, which opened avenues for infection other than blooms, it blighted almost back to the graft union<

    Might this have been Pseudomonas instead?
     

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