Wet Weather Brings Fireblight to Elmore County

Friday, June 7, 2019
Fireblight-infected pear limb near the Community Garden in Mountain Home.
Brad Stokes

The famous singer Luke Bryan might claim, “rain is a good thing,” but the wet weather Elmore County has been experiencing is also facilitating an ideal environment for a destructive disease known as fireblight. Fireblight is caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora and primarily affects trees, shrubs and herbs in the rose family (Rosaceae). It can occur in landscape, nursery and orchard plants. A plague of fireblight is overtaking local pome fruit trees. Pome fruits are defined as having a “core” of small seeds that is surrounded by a fleshy membrane. Examples include apples, crabapples and pears. However, fireblight is not limited to these specific plants as it is also known to infect plums, raspberries, blackberries, dewberries and other plants. Its host range is quite large.

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