Post-tropical storm Arthur is being blamed for the spread of fire blight in the Annapolis Valley’s apple orchards.

Fire blight is a destructive bacterial disease that damages apple trees and reduces their ability to produce fruit. Trees look as if they have been scorched by fire, giving the blight its name.


June bugs crawl on a pear tree affected by fire blight at Reed Valley Orchard near Cynthania, Ky. (Associated Press)

Stephen Van Meekeren, co-owner of an orchard in Lakeville, N.S., says Arthur shredded leaves and broke tops out of trees.

"So that therefore opens up wounds in the tree, so with the extreme winds of 140 kilometre an hour… if there was bacteria from miles away, it travelled, it's airborne and it would have travelled into orchards and of course all these open wounds would have been a place to infect,” he said.

Every time it's rainy with a bit of wind now, the bacterial could spread through the orchard.

Van Meekeren says it's affected 75 per cent of his orchard.

He says he now has to cut out infected shoots from the tree.

The Nova Scotia Fruit Growers’ Association says the blight does not affect humans or animals.