Concerns that fireblight would cause significant damage to this year’s pear harvest in the Medford, Oregon, region have eased in recent days.
Fireblight, the contagious bacteria most commonly found in apple and pear trees, had been discovered in certain pear trees, with Comice trees showing the greatest effect. The Bosc variety, which represents 40 percent of the pear acreage in the area, has not been hit hard, says David Sugar, a plant pathologist at the Oregon State University Southern Oregon Experiment Station.
Humid, windy conditions back in May made the trees vulnerable to the bacteria, he said. To stop the blight from spreading, major limbs, or in some cases, the entire tree, must be cut down and burned.
Sugar said the 90- and 100-degree temperatures throughout July have helped slow the bacteria’s advances. He predicts the blight will not have much of an effect on the pear crop. The Medford Mail reported earlier on the concerns.