Consider the relative susceptibilities of the scion and rootstock to fire blight when establishing new orchards. There is considerable variation among apple cultivars (and pear cultivars) in susceptibility to fire blight, although none are immune. Some cultivar/rootstock combinations are so susceptible to fire blight that investments in these combinations are extremely high risk. In the eastern United States, ‘Gala’ on M.26 is an example of a high-risk combination. For more information, read this article on Fire Blight of Apple.
Answer provided by Alan R. Biggs, West Virginia University.