Apple farmers in the Laurentians are fighting to save their orchards from fire blight.

A type of bacteria called Erwinia amylovora is damaging trees across the region north of Montreal.

Julie Gaudette, who has been working at her family's orchard since she was 12 years old, said the blight has cropped up before, but never this extensively.

"We have tried many methods: antibiotics, cutting the grass to decrease humidity, checking pH levels in the soil, but we are out of resources," said Gaudette.

The bacteria does not affect the fruit, but it does destroys leaves, turning them brown as if they have dried up and heated up.

And when the leaves don't grow, the growth of the apples is stunted.

"The government wants us to get stop the epidemic but we only have two hands and a few employees. We don't have the budget to hire dozens more," said Gaudette.

She said to treat each tree costs about $10, but the Bucheron Saint Joseph du Lac cannot afford to treat 4,000 trees in the orchard.

Sylvie D'Amours is the agricultural critic for the Coalition Avenir Quebec.

She believes the fire blight is an urgent problem that requires government assistance.

"They need money. If they want apples this year they really need to get rid of this bacteria, so they need professional help," said D'Amours.

A spokesperson for agriculture minister Pierre Paradis said the government is inspecting every orchard in the Laurentians to make sure the bacteria doesn't spread, but it is not offering financial support to individual orchards.

Instead it is telling growers to contact their insurance companies.

Meantime Gaudette wants people to know the orchard is still open and the apples are promising to be delicious.