Is this Fire Blight


RuP

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Hi - I noticed some diseased leaves on one of my apple trees - a Herefordshire Russet. This quickly spread to half the tree, so I did some drastic pruning. Some leaves shrivelled and went black, with a 'shepherd's crook' shape (see pics). There are black blotches on the green stems.

In the last few days I've noticed it's happening on other apple trees: a Pitmaston's Pineapple, a Fiesta - and I've just spotted it on a Concorde pear.

is there anything else it could be? Could it just be under-watering? We've had a dry spring, followed by a cool, wet late spring and early summer.

I did wonder if it could be blossom wilt, which seems more likely given that we're in the SW Highlands of Scotland, and I thought fire blight was only a problem in England, and mainly the SE, as it needs warm conditions. But those shepherd's crook-shaped leaves are concerning me.

Any help appreciated before this spreads! If it is fire blight, has anyone had any luck with spraying water dosed with peppermint oil? Thanks!
 

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It certainly looks like it. There is no cure. Some bacterial sprays can slow it down but there is nothing you can really do except try to prune it away. Severe pruning has been tried here in Texas but results are always a disappointment. It is really sad but in reality the best thing to do is remove the tree and plant a fireblight resistant variety. But, before I started to severely prune the tree I would get a local expert to confirm or deny it is fireblight. I've heard of using essential oils such as peppermint on fungal and bacterial infections. Since nothing else really works try it and see. If it works you can get rich.
 
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RuP

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Unfortunately I don't think we have fire blight resistant varieties here. Certainly not pears ...
 

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