Pruning for Disease Control
Pruning is often the best control method for certain plant diseases such as fire blight and twig canker.
- Stems or branches that show signs of disease should be cut back to healthy tissue (for partial branch removal, cut back to a healthy outward facing bud).
- If the cut surface shows any sign of tissue damage, cut the branch back more.
- It is advisable to remove about 2"-6" of healthy tissue behind the diseased wood.
- Make your cuts at a 45° angle facing away from the bud so water will not drain towards it.
- When pruning diseased plant material, always take along a bucket containing a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. Dip your shears or saw blade after pruning each tree or shrub to avoid spreading the disease as you move from plant to plant.