Fire Blight

Pest: Fire blight (Erwinia amylovora)

Pest Type: Infectious disease, bacterium

Major Identifying Features: The first sign is a watery, light tan bacterial ooze that exudes from cankers on branches, twigs, or trunks, ooze turns dark after exposure to air, leaving streaks on branches or trunks, fruit can shrivel, shrink and blacken

Life Cycle: Fire blight bacteria overwinter in cankers on twigs, branches, or trunks of host trees, bacteria become active in spring when temperatures rise and trees resume growth, honey bees become carriers of the pathogen

Pest Rating: Moderate

Management Rating: Difficult

Host/Season/Outbreak Information: Fire blight is common on pome fruit and related plants, especially pear and quince, open flowers in spring are most susceptible, rainy and humid weather is favourable for pathogens

Damage Information: Fire blight can destroy limbs and even entire shrubs or trees

Management Options: Prevention by choosing tolerant varieties including Asian pears, red pear varieties, Bradford, Capitol, Red Spire, cultural control by removing diseased wood, chemical control with copper products



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