November 14, 2017


Fireblight in the Urban Landscape
By Jessie McClellan of New Urban Forestry in Athens, GA

Blame it on the weather. Our arborists are noticing quite a lot of fireblight this year. This disease presents itself in affected areas with black, dry bark, bacterial ooze, shriveled shoots, and brown blossoms.

It causes dead branch tips and affects most fruit trees, including ornamental pears. It’s transmitted onto the trees during flowering in the spring and the symptoms have begun to appear within the last few weeks. It is caused by a bacterium that thrives in warmer temperatures — optimally at 80°F, and is transferred by insects who are attracted to the ooze as food.

An example of a tree with fireblight.
An example of a tree with fireblight.

Unfortunately, there’s little that can be done at this time of year to correct the unsightly damage, but a focus on improving tree health through mulching, soil care and professional fertilization is likely to help trees recover from the damage.

If you have a tree suffering from fireblight give us a call for a complimentary evaluation.