How to Prevent Fire Blight in Apple Trees

Fire blight is a powerful and common killer of apple trees. The bacteria that causes it is extremely fast moving, so early prevention efforts and frequent inspections are crucial to fighting it. If you want a quick and easy solution to preventing fire blight in your apple trees and for fighting it where it has begun, follow these steps.


Step 1

Create a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. Mix this solution inside a plastic spray bottle. You can make as much or as little as you need, but a good estimate is ½ pint per adult tree. Vinegar is acidic and fire blight cannot thrive in acidic environments.

Step 2

Spray your trees generously with the solution in early spring, just as warmer temperatures start to set in. Be sure to coat large groups of leaves and all branches at their joints with the trunk.

Step 3

Apply a fresh layer of the spray approximately every two weeks. If you experience heavy rain during the growing season, respray your trees after each substantial rainfall.

Step 4

Inspect your trees regularly throughout the entire growing season. If you notice wilted leaves or leaves and branches that look black and scorched, that is a sign of fire blight. Remove the infected sections with pruning clippers and immediately move them far away from the trees. Dispose of the infected foliage as soon as possible. Spray down each tree after infected portions have been removed, concentrating on the areas closest to where the fire blight was found.

Tips and Warnings

Do not adjust the formula to make it stronger. Too much vinegar can damage your apple trees and affect your tree yield.

Things You'll Need

White vinegar, Water, Plastic spray bottle, Pruning shears, Long-handled pruning clippers

About this Author

Josh Baum is a freelance writer with extensive experience in advertising and public relations. A graduate of the University of Missouri - Columbia School of Journalism, Baum writes targeted, optimized Web copy, print advertisements and broadcast scripts for advertising agencies, publishers and Web developers throughout the United States and Canada. He lives and works in Chicago, ll.

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