This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
I will now fulfill my promise. My pear trees are looking finely, have lost but three out of about two thousand by blight, while trees generally in this section suffered greatly. I think I have hit upon a preventative for blight. It is this: In June I wash my trees with a wash made of one pint of soft soap to one gallon of water, or take good strong lye and wash the trunks of the trees and larger branches. Applying this to the trees keeps them in good healthy condition. My trees are six years old, and have been mulched for two years and cut back, but no cultivation. I have been using this wash for three years, and have lost but very few trees while before using, I lost near two hundred in one season.
[Accumulating facts tend to show that the spores of the Fire Blight fungus develop from the outside, and give increasing weight to the judgment of those who believe that washes will destroy these spores. - Ed. G. M].