Yellow/orange ooze from Apple pruning cut

steve333_gw(5a)May 5, 2012

I was doing some last pass pruning (touch up mostly) when I noticed this yellow/orange ooze coming out of a previous year's pruning cut. The ooze was still liquid and in the form of drops forming on the end grain of the cut edge of the branch. I also noted that the bark at this site was discolored for maybe 2" around the site of the ooze. The branch is 1-1/4" in diameter at the point of the infection. Other than this ooze and the bark discoloration, the rest of the branch seems fine and is leafing out well.

I assume the proper course of action here is to prune the infected branch off the tree, and dispose of the infected wood.

My question is, from this description, can anyone ID the disease here? And if so, how contagious is it? Should I be spraying the tree (and other nearby trees) with something?


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megamav(5a - NY)

You may want to post a picture of it to get some of the more knowledgeable members to chime in.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 9:13PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Steve, it could be fireblight. I always thought it was not very common in dry areas like Colorado but it is everywhere to some degree. I don't know of any other disease that produces that orange ooze effect. Whatever it is, cut it all out pronto!


    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 10:15PM
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Yes, fireblight. Pretty rare here, especially this spring where we have not had hardly any rain. I googled to see some pics and indeed, that is what this tree has.

I will cut out the infected limb tomorrow as soon as it is light. and then use a copper based spray.

Only one tree has open flowers at this time, so with any luck it has not spread all that much. Unfortunately we are due to get several days of rainy, cold weather; so not ideal for keeping a spray on the trees, or combatting fireblight...

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 11:48PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Would like to see an image before you amputate!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 12:53AM
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Fireblight rarely presents in association with dead wood, although it does produce it.

the answer is yes. with pics someone should be able to id the problem. also see if a local library has a copy of a book by symonds and lyon, diseases of trees and shrubs.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 10:01AM
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Opps, did not take any pics before I amputated the limb, and the limb is now burn in my wood stove (seemed like a good way to dispose of it).

However the description and visuals matched exactly the pics I had seen online, when I looked it up. (And even if it wasn't fireblight, it was some infection which was producing spores, so it needed to be removed)

Fire blight is not a big deal usually up in my location (8200'), due to colder temps and dry weather. However it can occur. One of the problems I have is this orchard was damaged 1.5 years ago during a wild fire. Lost quite a few trees, and many of the surviving trees had parts of them burned (usually the one side which faced the flames). There is bark damage on some of the surviving trees from the nearby heat of the fire. Those heat damaged areas look a bit like sun scald damage. And it occurs to me now that they may be masking fire blight (which may have entered the burned areas).

Which raises a good question, how can I tell whether these "burns" (or other scars/damage) are just normal injuries or are harboring fire blight? Waiting until the ooze starts is not the best idea, and several of the trees would not survive pruning out all the visible damage (if I were to err on the safe side). Are there any easy tests, or definitive way to spot a fire blight injury vs a normal and healing injury?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 11:28PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Steve, there isn't much you can do about it in any case so its probably not worth worrying about. Fire and fireblight both can leave very different scars depending on the heat/duration/etc of the fire and the intensity of the FB strike. Maybe if you stared at enough of them you could notice the different categories. It took me five years of staring to tell the difference between PC and OFM damage in peaches -- its pretty trivial now that I know what to look for, but it was impossible before that :-)


    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 8:24AM
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