Fireblight

Fireblight

Symptoms

At first, flowers wilt, wither and then die. Nearby leaves and stems then become infected. Eventually, the die-back is so extensive that the tree is killed. On young stems patches of sunken bark appear, underneath which there is a reddish colouring. Sticky ooze can sometimes be seen around affected areas.

Cause

A bacteria which enters the plant through the flowers. It is most common in warm, wet weather when it is carried by rain splashes. It is also spread on contaminated garden tools.

Harm

Can be a very devastating disease which can lead to the death of affected plants. Only plants from the Rosaceae family are affected.

Treatment

Prune out infected areas as soon as they are spotted. Make the cut at least 60cm into good, healthy wood. Burn the prunings and sterilize all tools. If the infection is severe or the plant small, it is best to remove the entire plant.