Saturday, May 25, 2013


I am devastated! It was a wonderful Spring, all the established fruit trees were loaded with blossoms! I've been gearing up for a canning marathon....and now...BAM! We've lost our Bartlett Pear, and both Crabapples trees to Fireblight!

What is Fireblight? It is a bacterial disease that is very destructive to apple, pear, and crabapple trees, in addition to roses and other plants in the Rosaceae family. Fireblight is easily spread from tree to tree by pollinators, who spread it via an ooze. It can also be spread during pruning via shears, that is why it is very important to always clean your shears between trees (or even cuts). Rain and wind are also contributors to spreading the disease.

Weather conditions play a big part in the onset of the disease each season. A damp spring, with warm weather that produces rapid growth on trees are prime conditions for the bacteria to flourish.

It is called Fireblight, due to the appearance the tree it has been burnt or scorched by fire.

Once the tree has it, it will always have it. It sits dormant through the winter months and is rejuvenated when the temperatures rise in the Spring. When temps reach 65-degrees the bacteria is kicked into full gear and multiplies like crazy.

If only a limb, or small portion of the tree has Fireblight, it is possible to save the rest of the tree. To manage the spread of the disease within the tree, you need to cut off the diseased branch (recommended at least 16" from the infected point) and burn it. Do Not let the wood sit in a pile on your property, it can still transmit the disease...
Unfortunately in our case, too much of the trees are infected. We have to remove the entire tree. (It would never survive if we removed all its branches...)

This is a sad, sad day at Magnolia Holler...however with 60+ young fruit trees, we can't risk it spreading further!

Have you ever faced the damage of Fireblight? Or lost prized fruit trees to other environmental factors? What did you do?

This was shared at The HomeAcre Hop and From The Farm Blog Hop!

-Live Simple, Be Happy-
Magnolia Holler


  1. So sorry to hear about your trees :(
    We have lost fruit due to frost but not a tree.
    I hope your get the problem taken care of!

  2. I am so very sorry! We have only four fruit trees here, but it took superhuman effort to carry water to them in the drought... so I prize them. I am just so sorry at your loss.

  3. :( Not fun! Fireblight is everywhere this spring! Our new edible crab apple was hit hard...

  4. Oh no! How horrible! I know I would be devastated. We don't have any fruit trees yet but I will keep this in mind for the future when we hopefully can get some.

  5. So, so sorry! That's happened to us, too! Here a lot of it is caused by people planting ornamental crabapples up and down the valley - they spread fireblight something terrible! This was shared with our readers at

  6. Great, informative post. Thanks for sharing at the HomeAcre Hop. Please come back and see us this week: