How to Treat Organic Pear Trees with Fire Blight

Sigh. The young pear trees have fire blight. If I remember correctly Blight is bacterial, it will enter your tree through a wound or badly timed pruning cut. It loves warm wet weather. When all your new fruit shrivels up and the new growth dies back it is likely that you have Fire Blight. It is highly contagious and will often kill the whole tree.   I have been pruning the dying foliage off as I see it but now it is out of hand.

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How to treat your organic pear tree for fire blight.  Prune and soak in White Vinegar Spray. Prune them further down than the blight. Your sheep will be grateful for the tasty feed. Or remove the prunings from the property. Then spray with the vinegar and water mixture and repeat after a couple of weeks.

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Though pruning a tree that has a disease that enters the tree through a wound seems dubious. Three young trees are infected so far.   So no pear cider again this year.  However the stone fruit and the cherries seem to be doing well.

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Sheila  is thrilled that Charlotte has thrown her out of the barn while she gestates. Now Sheila can play camouflage in the wallow corner for as long as she likes!

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“nuff said”.  Which brings me to :

 Yesterdays Funniest Story in the Lounge of Comments  by Chas Spain.

re Blue the Savage – when I was vetting many years ago, we vets all had blue heelers – the sweetest of dogs. They rode with us in our trucks, which is when they were at their happiest.
My fellow vet had a red heeler she struggled to keep in line. So she called on a great learned dog trainer who spent an evening and late into the night instructing her in the art of dog training. After absorbing all this she explained that she was talking about a heeler.
To which the learned dog trainer replied – ‘Oh in that case, there’s nothing you can do other than buy a 1000 Ha and 200 cows and keep the dog tied up until you want the cows in.’

I am still laughing about that! Best I get more cows.

Anyway, now we are watching the skies hoping for a few days without rain, not that we are ungrateful you understand, but we need to begin getting in some hay.

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Don’t tell John I took his photo. He hates it when I do that!

The electrician who was working in the Coupe today brought me some farmers caps, evidently there is a difference between farmers caps and construction caps and I was wearing a beach hat. Concerned, he went into his storage cupboard at home and brought me a collection of Dekalb caps that his old friend gave him over 20 years ago.  The old fella has since died leaving this collection of brand new old caps. They are unworn but date back to the seventies and eighties. From a very different period of farming. I wore one immediately  because they have this big wide old fashioned brim that runs from ear to ear, across the top of my eyes and are big enough to cover the tops of my ears!

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When John came home from work and saw what I was wearing he was thrilled to bits. Dekalb is an old, old Illinois  seed company… 1912 they started up. They lasted almost  seventy years, developing and selling internationally accepted hybrid corn, before Monsanto began to buy up shares and eventually bought out, closed down and now own the name Dekalb.   My very fast google searches seem to indicate that this was one of the first companies to fall to Monsanto in the nineties. It was one of Monsantos entry points into the corn tree.  Dekalb had become weak and was taken over. A bit like Fire Blight in a pear tree.  Ruthless, highly contagious  and often fatal. The original hybrid seed company no longer exists,  and the name Dekalb is now synonymous with Monsanto but there is a dichotomy here that appeals to me so I will wear the old and in fact collectible caps from the pre-Monsanto era. At least the caps from those days keep the sun off your head, the tractors that the farmers drove back in the seventies did not have enclosed air conditioned cabs!!

It is the old codgers birthday today and we are going out to lunch!

So I shall hang up the sign… Out To Lunch! Phone Turned Off.

Have a lovely day.

Your friend, celi.

50 Comments on “How to Treat Organic Pear Trees with Fire Blight

  1. Please wish the Old Codger a very happy and blessed birthday from the fellowship of the farmy. Hope he enjoys many more!

    Uh oh Blue — caught red-handed! (Or should it be blue-pawed?)

  2. blue…caught in the act! he is just adorable! you really should write a children’s book about the farmy. he would be such a star! happy birthday to the old codger! how old is he?

  3. Have a wonderful day together I also want the rains to STOP I have no animals to help eat all this STUFF 🙂

  4. Send Dale my very best, hearty birthday wishes, and I hope that you two have a lovely lunch.

  5. Oh, yes, good old Dekalb. This was the corn my dad planted. And, during my high school summers, I detasseled corn for this company for $1.25/hour. Toughest job I’ve ever had. Dew running down my arms. Itchy corn leaves slapping arms and face. Hot and humid. Peeing b/n corn rows. Just plain all around miserable work.

    • Sorry to butt in, Minnesota Prairie Roots, but being new to corn growing I am curious as to what detasseling corn does, and at what point in its growth the task is performed. Thanks for sharing!

      • It seems Audrey has not popped back, John used to detassel and it means to take the tassel off the seed corn, leaving a strip of the corn you want it pollinate with. Therefore creating a cross pollinated seed corn. You only did this on corn you are going to save for seed. There was a machine that went through first and the kids go in afterwards and take off the ones the machine did not get. This is done as soon as the tassel appears. You can’t let it drop its seed. Though this is how I understand it, having never done it myself.. c

  6. Just love the story of the Blue Heeler! They can be so smart and adorable most of the times, but just can’t seem to stop themselves from herdling!!! Our poor guineas certainly get their exercise at feeding time as Dolly herds them around and around. I’m still working on her jumping up and nipping behavior. It’s as though she wants to play with me like she does with Daphne our German Shorthair Pointer. But her teeth hurt!!!

  7. Naughty Blue. Anyone would think you didn’t feed him enough! Our pear tree is a bit of a dead loss. We tried ornamenting it with empty egg shells ( a tip from a Polish friend) but it didn’t work. We had a wonderful peach tree at the other house that was a martyr to peach leaf curl. We used to cut back the diseased branches and eventually, pollarded it at about 2 feet high. It gave bucketloads of peaches, as did the self-sewn off-shoots grow like the clappers for my Polish friend. But EVERYthing grows for her!

    Happy birthday, Codger, from a codgeress in France.

    • I know peple like that too, they can grow anything while we plod along, burying our mistakes down the back.. c

  8. A big Happy Birthday to the old Codger….how young is he anyway? The photo of the egg snachting Blue made me laugh or are those his eggs??
    C’mon Cinders, we would all love a photo of you with your old/new feed cap on!! How bout it?? 🙂

  9. Tell your old friend Happy Birthday!!! Also, get ready…the heat is on and it is miserable…you should get it in three more days…along with it a very HOT HOT HOT Wind that blows in gusts. Cut your hay then as you will be able to bale in four days…if you can get the dew. The wind stopped here as the sun set and we had dew around three in the morning.

    I’ve had fire blight…I understand.

    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

    • Excellent, it looks like your weather will appear on our screens about sunday night, after a couple more days of storms then I see days and days of sunshine.. excellent, have you cut yours yet?.. c

  10. Happy birthday to Dale! By now I suppose you had your wonderful lunch. Good for you to turn your phone off! I need to do that lots more in my life. Oh my god, yesterday, my iphone froze and I had a wee bit of a panic because it was almost time for me to go pick C up from uni. That’s bad isn’t it? When all along C can easily call the house phone. Anyway, shame about the little pear tree. I had to remove one from my house last year. There are a few trials here in Vancouver where pears and peaches are being grown espaliered under eves so the rain isn’t spreading viruses around and it seems to be helping. Hmm, maybe you need a third little house which will be juts a long wall with a roof! 🙂 Looking forward to reading an account of the birthday lunch. (and babies will be babies, even charming Blue the evil snatcher babies…lol) Hugs Celi. 🙂

    • hmm. do you think i should just pull them right out?and start again.. so miserable, but it spreads.. c

      • I don’t know sweetie, it’s a very tough call. The only chance I think you might have is to plant varieties which are somewhat resistant and then try to deal with the blight on those. There doesn’t seem to be a highly resistant variety out there but this: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/02907.html link might help you find some better trees. If you have a highly susceptible variety you might just be pruning the living daylights out of the poor thing without any payback. Sucks, don’t it! 🙂

  11. Sorry about the pear trees, Celi. I hope the vinegar spray works for you before this season’s crop is completely lost. It’s always something, isn’t it? When I took Max to training classes — yes, he did go — the trainer referred to him as “a challenge”, “a determined little guy” and my favorite: “special”. Do wish Dale a happy birthday. I hope you all have a good time together celebrating.

  12. Heelers are a wonderful, purpose driven breed, so sweet, unless you are a sheep or cow, or in our case a kangaroo, that needs to be herded!!! Love the photo of him with an egg. Made my day.

  13. I would personally treat a fire blight with extreme caution! 🙂
    Hope he has taken your headgear stoically, and has had a good b’day!

  14. Happy birthday Old Codger! I hope the trees recover – we don’t have much luck with fruit trees in our backyard, they always seem to succumb to something! The exception being the lemon tree. And my Pete was very happy when I told him you had a blue heeler – he gets quite indignant when folks buy that breed and then lock them in a backyard and go to work for the day. This is a dog which needs to RUN, he always says.

    • Well you can tell pete that this little fella RUNS! and runs and runs and then collapses with all the associated drama and gymnastics into a dishevelled heap and is asleep almost immediately. and i completely agree, these dogs need a strong hand, and constant work, he could not be alone all day.. c

  15. Shame about the pears, you could grow them into bottles and then add vodka for for a year. I have tried it in Cornwall, but the winds kept blowing the bottle off the branch 😉

    • I desperately want to try this, I even have the bottles to make pear brandy.. but vodka! oo la la! c

    • oh dear.. how about pear brandy then! Must be a way to keep those bottle on there, though it seems I cannot grow a pear to save myself let alone pear brandy!

  16. Oh what a mixed and interesting post:
    * Happy birthday to Old Codger: trust you had a happy lunch
    * Hope you can save the trees, even if this year’s pear harvest gone
    * John surely won’t mind the photo of just ‘half’ of him from the back 😉 !
    * Sheila certainly is making hay of ‘not being wanted’ 🙂 !
    * Oh dear, Blue and the egg: he’s holding it SO gently: ‘I’m a good boy, I am!’
    * And DO sleep well after another busy day . . .

    • Hmmm . . . passing your post stepped in for a minute: am certain your heading this morning was not of a dark, frightening cloud mass almost atop the farmy . . . am I seeing things or is WP ‘playing games’ ?

  17. Hi Miss C, you’re right about the blue heeler needing a lot of work.
    I grew up on a small farm where we had them as working dogs…….the only thing that kept them in check was rounding up the geese
    ………. they needed to keep a keen eye out for the next gander attack.

  18. Oh, I thought maybe you had Blue collecting the eggs now. 😉 Sheila does look comfortable as camouflage! Hope you all had a great lunch!

  19. What a find those caps are! I’ve been wondering about the old codger so good to hear of him again. It’s sad about the pear trees. I enjoy seeing Sheila wallowing in the mud: she looks so much at home!

  20. Thank you for the information on the pear blight, I shall keep an eye out for it on my tree. We have lots of baby pears right now. It is a grafted tree, and I might actually get pears from all 5 graft varieties, fingers crossed.

    • I really hope you do .. just no cutting in the spring and hopefully not too much wet and hot.. I love pears and am so disappointed, where is your pear in your backyard view, can I see it?

  21. Good morning Celi you tell john pictures aint nothing but a thing and not to worry i resemble his build its a maturing thing . i know i don’t worry about it but missy sure does. i’m not going to give it stress cause she gives me enough.

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