Fire Blight

bacterial disease
bacterial disease

Richard Stuckey,

bacterial disease

William Jacobi, Colorado State University,

bacterial disease bacterial disease bacterial disease


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Fire blight is a bacterial disease which can affect a wide variety of ornamental trees, particularly in the Rose family. This disease creates black, sunken areas (cankers) on twigs and stems where the bacteria harbors. It is at the point of these cankers to the tip of the twigs where tissue dies and looks as though it was scorched by fire.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Twig cankers
  • Wilting of new growth in the shape of a shepherd’s hook
  • Tip dieback

Effects On Your Tree

Once established, fire blight typically persists on an annual basis and will continually kill the current season’s growth where cankers exist. Severe cases may kill the whole tree.

Management Options

Topical sprays and systemic injections may be applied in minor to moderate infestations. More serious cases also require pruning to remove the cankers, which eliminates bacteria.

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