What a year so far! Fireblight has taken out 300 apple trees to date. I continue to cut out more every week. After much research, I decided I must spray to save the orchard . However, the weather did not cooperate. The day before I was to spray, the orchard was hit with strong winds and rain and took all the blossoms off leaving nothing to spray. So on a good note, our apples tree weren’t sprayed and on a bad note our apple trees weren’t sprayed.
What is fireblight and where did it come from?
Fireblight (Erwina amylovora) is a severely destructive bacterial disease of apples that kills blossoms, shoots, limbs and entire trees. It is very difficult and costly to control. Fireblight will only grow and spread if bacteria is present (which was evident) and certain weather conditions exist (warm, wet, humid summer conditions). The disease spreads very easily: 1) overwinter through the cankers on the limbs; 2) pruning without properly disinfecting pruning tools; 3) blossom infections – early spring insects visiting infected trees and spreading it to the others; and 4) wind and rain.
So now what, we will continue to cut out and burn the infected trees and branches. In the fall, we will apply a copper spray on our infected trees. Next spring, we will spray antibiotic at next bloom. Also, I am going to plant several new trees and start growing more trees using the most “fireblight” rootstock and I can find.
On a positive note, we have some great new products in our store and our walking trails are better than ever. Come visit us! We are open 5 days a week and 11 hours a day. (closed Tuesdays & Wednesday). New produce arriving weekly!