Disease threat for blossoming Hawthorn trees

by | Jun 3, 2015 | Featured Slider, Latest, News

Islanders are being asked to check Hawthorn trees in Guernsey, for signs of a disease called Fireblight.

Last September two mature trees growing in Vale Castle were confirmed as having the disease, and had to be destroyed with other trees in the vicinity.

Hawthorn berries.

No further infection has been found on the island, but there are concerns the disease will become more active as the weather gets warmer.

This is because Hawthorn trees are more susceptible when blossoming.

Typical symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Blackening of flower clusters
  • Withering of young shoots, which can take on a scorched appearance
  • In severe cases whole branches and entire trees can become infected

Infected trees have to be destroyed, as there is no available treatment for the disease.

Fireblight is a threat to our native hedgerows and to our orchards.

We’ve been free from this disease since its arrival in Europe back in the 1950’s and every effort should be made to prevent it from becoming established.”


Islanders who spot the disease should report to the Plant Health Inspector at Commerce & Employment (tel: 234567, e-mail: agriculture@commerce.gov.gg).

Alternatively samples can also be taken to the Crop Protection Laboratory.