fire blight


: a destructive infectious disease especially of apples, pears, and related fruits caused by a bacterium (Erwinia amylovora)

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web In the early 20th century as a remarkably resilient candidate to replace the edible French pear (Pyrus communis), which was being wiped out by fire blight in the Pacific Northwest. Melissa Breyer, Treehugger, 25 Jan. 2023 Spray dormant fruit trees now to prevent leaf curl, fire blight, downy mildew, aphids, scale and other problems in spring and summer. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Jan. 2023 This past year, my flowering quince shrub suffered some dieback from what I was told was fire blight. Miri Talabac., Baltimore Sun, 21 Dec. 2022 Winter is the best time to trim off branches infected with fire blight. Miri Talabac., Baltimore Sun, 21 Dec. 2022 There have been some preliminary successes — an Italian group demonstrated in a 2019 study that CRISPR could be used to reduce susceptibility to fire blight disease, for example. Elizabeth Landau, New York Times, 27 Sep. 2022 Global warming is turbocharging fire blight, the scourge of apple orchards, pushing the fungal disease further and further north. Heather Souvaine Horn, The New Republic, 24 Nov. 2022 At the time, a fungus called fire blight was devastating U.S. pear orchards, University of Cincinnati researchers Theresa M. Culley and Nicole A. Hardiman wrote in a 2007 BioScience article about the plant's U.S. history. CBS News, 22 Apr. 2022 The Callery pear trees were once desirable ornamental trees but are now showing signs of fire blight, an internal bacterial disease, Graf said. Linda Girardi, Chicago Tribune, 2 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fire blight.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1742, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fire blight was in 1742

Dictionary Entries Near fire blight

Cite this Entry

“Fire blight.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

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