Fire Blight and Ornamental Pear, Good or Bad?

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Fire Blight is a bacterial infection that attacks plants in the Rosaceae family which includes Roses, Apples, Pears, Mountain Ash, and Pyracantha.

 

Branch with blight

 

It is caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora, and is a common and frequently destructive disease of pome fruit trees and related plants. Pear (Pyrus species) and quince (Chaenomeles) are extremely susceptible.

 

Fire Blight infection

The infection can be transmitted by pruning, water splash and even bees. The disease gains entry to the tree through two main points, blossoms and new shoots, and often appears first in spring as blossom, fruit spur, and new shoot blight. Infected blossoms wilt rapidly and turn light to dark brown.

 

fire blight

 

If an infected branch is pruned, the pruning shears can transmit the infection to new tissue through a pruning cut. When pruning out fire blight, shears need to be starilized between each cut to prevent transmission of the bacteria.

 

junction of infected tissue

So this predicament begs to ask the question; is a pathogen on a potential invasive plant ‘Friend’ or ‘Foe’?