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Plant Diseases/Crab apple with Fire Blight

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Question
We have an old, large crab apple tree that we love. In 2012 and 2013 we had some branches die out in the spring- leaves, blossoms, small apples just turn brown and die. We pruned what we could reach.

It has gotten a little worse each year. With the timing and look of the branches, I assumed it was fire blight. But there is no ooze, no blackening, no cankers, no shepherd's crook. Is there anything else it might be?

thanks,
jennifer

Answer
Jennifer:

FB usually occurs in a random fashion on the tree.  Tips wither and look scorched.  Close exam will show a sunken dark brown to black canker or lesion on the twig.  Only when relative humidity and temperature are just right will you see the ooze.  You may need to get a lab exam to confirm FB.  Contact your local county Agricultural Extension Service for this.  There is an office usually in every county- often in the courthouse.  These folks can have a sample checked under a microscope for this bacterial agent.

Regards
Steve

Plant Diseases

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Dr Stephen Vann

Expertise

Plant Diseases and Disorders of Lawn Grasses, Trees, Vegetables,and Ornamentals

Experience

Plant Diseases Identification and Management

Education/Credentials
B.S. Botany --- Miss. State Univ. M.S. Plant Pathology --- Miss. State Univ. Ph.D. Plant Pathology --- Texas A & M Univ.

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