Well, spring has sprung. Or at least spring has started to think about springing. In the starting blocks.
For us, this means it is time to start spraying. We have been plagued with Fire Blight in our apples. And in our one pear. At first I didn't know what to do about it. I went to the county extension agent and learned what it was, but they had no help as to combating it. All they said I could do was to cut off the infected branches. I did that. And pity the poor trees. We had to cut off whole branches and then burn the cuttings.
The next year it came back. I was all over the internet and no help. Then I spoke to the person in charge of the plants at Southern States. She told me about Fertilome.
Fire Blight is a bacterial infection that withers the leaves and branches in the infected trees. Fertilome is basically an antibiotic that can fight off the infection. The only time it helps is to spray the tree just when it starts to bloom and all through the blooming season. You stop spraying when you see the fruit. You have to spray every 3 to 5 days.
Because you are spraying way up into the tops of the trees, if there is any wind, you get the stuff in your face. The package has dire warnings about washing up with water for 10 to 15 minutes if any comes in contact with your skin or eyes. I got a bit on my face and washed it off with a wet paper towel. I guess I should do it again. And maybe run it over my hair. I didn't get a lot so I hope that is sufficient. I'm hoping the warnings are an excess of caution due to our litigious society.
This is our second year of spraying and I hope it does the job. The trees are getting to the age when we should have a decent crop. If I hadn't cut off most of the branches on some of them. And if we don't get another blighted year. I have been fighting it for about three years and I am getting tired of seeing the poor trees looking so bedraggled.
One of the arborists I called to help me suggested removing the trees. I'm not ready to give up. I want some fruit off my trees!!!