Before the Bartlett bud “pushes,” it’s tough brown covering protects it from the Delta winds, insects and whatever might be thwarting it from proper budding —even bees!
Yes, as our Bartletts are getting ready to bloom, come into full bloom and then attempt to “set,” a bee can bring to the young plant tissues Fire blight from another orchard. The blossom, young twigs and early shoots are all sitting ducks for this. It is caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora, which occurs in our area of the Delta along with a bothersome pear scab caused by the fungus Venturia pirina. This fungus likes pears grown close to water, such as along the coast and along the Sacramento River, our front yard. This early growing season is a very vulnerable time for these “births” happening within our orchard. Our next entry— In Full Flower!
Anjou, Kieffer, and Bartlett are self-pollinating but they will produce more fruit if paired with another of the same kind. You can intermix these varieties and still get successful fruit set.