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Fire Blight on Apple Trees?

Posted by dpitts (My Page) on
Sat, May 2, 09 at 23:58

I am worried that my big old apple trees might have fire blight, but am not quite sure. I can't seem to find anything on fire blight in the GW AZ forums... The pictures and links I have found online don't look quite like it, mainly because they only seem to affect new growth and fruit. I am concerned because the big main branches and trunk of my trees are what seems to be affected, and the new growth and apples are all coming along just fine. It is dark now, so I can't go take a picture.

Let me describe: There are several spots that look like some bird bored holes in all around some of the big branches, but they are rectangular holes, not round. There appears to be some oozing from these hole, as they look wet/dark gray. But also, some of the big branches have turned a dark gray (wet or almost burned looking) and you can see the gray running all the length of the branch. The bark on the trunk is peeling, pretty severely. Some of the new growth (i.e. apple-bearing branches) seem to be growing in a crook shape. I am not sure what type of apple tree they are (we moved into this house a few years ago and these trees have to be at least 15-20 years old) but they turn yellowish with a rose blush. We have two old beautiful trees that appear to have the problem, and one younger tree that seems ok.

Please help! If it is fire blight, what am I supposed to do at this point? Can we save the trees? If it isn't fire blight, what could it be?

Thanks so much!!
We live in Gilbert on a flood irrigated lot.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Fire Blight on Apple Trees?

Fire Blight enters the plant from blossoms or wounds and the bacteria can be transferred on pruning tools. The symptoms you describe could certainly be caused by this bacteria.

Here is a link to information from the University of California at Davis which gives symptoms and treatment options.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fire Blight

RE: Fire Blight on Apple Trees?

If the trees are 15-20 years old they are not going to live a whole lot longer no matter what you do. But, you could try adding sul-po-mag around the dripline and also foliar application in the evening. More than twenty years is a lot to expect out of an apple tree in the Phoenix aea, even on a flood irrigated lot.

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