Pear trees are in flower and beautifully prominent right now.  Unfortunately a significant number of those trees either have already been or soon will be exhibiting the symptoms of a bacterial disease called Fire Blight.  This infectious disease can impact members of the rose family, which includes pears, hawthornes, peaches, crabapples, and apple trees.  
Bradford pears, a popular landscape and street tree in our area seem particularly susceptible.  Since many of our street are lined with these pears, you may have already noticed the symptoms without a precise recognition of exactly what you were seeing.   The disease takes its name from the physical appearance of the affected twig and leaf tissue, which first may appear water soaked and then exhibits a blackened rolled appearance as though it had been scorched with a blow-torch.   
This infected tissue carries spores of the disease which are highly infectious.  When symptoms appear it is important to collect and dispose of this material to prevent the spread to other tissue or trees.  The ground should be raked of all fallen leaves and/or clumps of leaves, bagged and removed from the property.  
Effective treatment for infected trees consists of a three step process.  First, all clumps of blackened tissue should be removed from the tree.  The pruning cuts must be made at least 6” - 8” inside of symptomatic tissue and pruning tools must be sanitized between each cut with Lysol or a 1:9 dilution of bleach.  
Second, the tree should be injected with an anti-biotic such as tetracycline at or very near the time of spring flowering  (now).  It may be necessary for an arborist to complete this step for you.
Third  (and this is a not-to-do step), avoid application of nitrogen to affected plants.  The application of nitrogen to fire blight plants is like pouring gasoline on a fire.  So if you own pears or other members of the rose family and are in the habit of springtime fertilization, it may be wise to make an inspection before applying nitrogen. 

Call us at 901-756-9893 for a free property assessment. 

Know someone who might be interested in this email? Forward this email to a friend

If you no longer wish to receive this mail Unsubscribe from this mailing list