June 9, 2014-
Fire blight infections caused during bloom should be appearing in infected orchards any time now. If you have susceptible cultivars (Mutsu, Gala, Cortland, Paulared, Ginger Gold, and many others found here), then get out and scout your orchards ASAP. Blossom infections should be removed at least six inches below any signs of symptoms, which include: darkening of shoot tips with distinct ‘shepherd’s crook’, oozing on shoots or fruit, and browning and shriveling of leaves. DO NOT SPRAY STREPTOMYCIN on infected tissue, it will not work and you will be setting yourself up for resistance development. Only in the case of hail storms or extreme wind events which create new infection sites should you apply strep, and that needs to be done within 24 hours of the event.
For more information on fire blight management see:
Terence Bradshaw, UVM Tree Fruit and Viticulture Specialist
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The UVM Tree Fruit and Viticulture Program is supported by the University of Vermont Agriculture Experiment Station, a USDA NIFA E-IPM Grant, and USDA Risk Management Agency Funds.