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Fire Blight Damage on Apple Tree Branch

Fire Blight Damage on Apple Tree Branch

Fire Blight

For some homeowners, Spring can be a mixed blessing. Springtime weather that is warm with plentiful rain, often creates the perfect breeding ground for Fire Blight. Fire Blight is a bacterial disease, that affects apple, crabapple, cherry, hawthorn, pyracantha, mountain ash and pear trees. It is very common in residential areas of Colorado, and slightly less common in Michigan landscapes. It can kill branches and even the entire tree if not properly treated.

The bacterium oozes out of cracks and crevices in the bark of a tree. Bees and other pollinated insects often pick up this bacterium on their bodies, introducing the disease to blooming trees during pollination. Trees that are affects, will begin to show symptoms just before their flower petals fall.


  • Flowers will begin to turn brown, mushy and wilt
  • Leaves turn yellow, then brown, but stay attached to the branch
  • Branch tips blacken and curl (called, “Shepard’s Crooking)
  • The bacteria may cause the infected fruit to ooze, leaving the fruit shriveled.


  • Prune diseased parts of the tree
  • Sanitize the pruning tools between each and every cut (bleach or ethyl alcohol)


  • ArborFos™ by Mauget™
    • Mauget’s Tree Injection ArborFos is a phosphate formulated fungicide, that inhibits fungal growth through stimulation of the plant’s own natural defense systems. Although it imparts no actual phosphorus nutrition, trees tend to develop healthier leaves, roots and stems.
      • We first drill a very small hole into the affected tree. We then combine the ArborFos capsule and feeder tube, and place the feeder tube into the tree. The uptake in the tree usually occurs within several minutes.
Fire Blight Disease Cycle Diagram with Image Captions

Fire Blight Disease Cycle Diagram with Image Captions

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