Saturday, June 13, 2009

"Fireblight"

That's what the nurseryman said he thought it was.


If you're familiar with the disease, you know it's devastating to orchards, and nothing to sniff at at home, either.


So, although I wasn't thrilled about it, I did the necessary cutting. I usually like pruning, figuring that everything can grow back, anyhow, but these were expensive pre-done espaliers, and their graceful forms cheer me. One branch out of eighteen was already broken, and I figure that if things keep on as they have been, I'm going to get some experience grafting.


I kept telling myself that, anyhow. And the (thinned) fruit was mostly on healthy branches, so we may still get a crop this year.

And -- hygiene. I know the rules. I just don't always follow them, figuring again, that everything will be fine. It's not always, though, so a 10% bleach solution before and after every cut.


The material also went straight into the landfill, not even into the municipal green waste. I don't want to spread this around.


One branch was bad about 80% of the way to the main trunk. We could see the difference in the wood, and cut until the cross section was healthy.


Now I'm wondering if I should have painted all the cuts with bleach. Please don't tell me if it's too late to do anything about it. The nurseryman also promised copper if a hard pruning and deep watering didn't turn them around.

My fingers (and pruning shears) are crossed.

5 comments:

Mr. H said...

Yikes! That sounds terrible, and I was worried about aphids and leaf miners in the garden. I hope I never have an issue with our apple trees like that. Thanks for the update though, it is good to be aware. I will read up on it some more.

Engineeredgarden said...

I had fireblight in one of my pear trees last year, and that is some bad stuff! Something with streptomycin in it, is supposed to keep the disease from occuring. Good luck!

Annie's Granny said...

Ouch! I'll be keeping my pruning shears crossed for you, too!

kitsapFG said...

That must have been a depressing chore. I just went through something similar with four tomato plants that were infected with bacterial canker. As painful as it is to do... you have to be ruthless in the removal of the diseased material. It sounds like you have the ability to salvage the tree though which is certainly encouraging. Learning to graft could be a fun project to undertake.

Will keep my fingers crossed for you that this did the trick.

Stefaneener said...

It's not a lot of fun, and I'm thinking that I may have missed a few places, even though the trees are very small.

And our tomatoes are looking a little funny too. . . never rains but it pours, funguswise, I suppose.

I'm keeping my eyes on them and thinking about copper spray. Definitely next year, as a preventative if warranted. Darn this cool, wet spring.