Asian Pear limping along

I’m not really sure if I’ve mentioned this tree in the past. I tried to search my old posts and didn’t find anything so here goes.

I bought an Asian pear combo tree from Raintree and planted it spring 2015. It had a marginal root system and I wasn’t thrilled but planted it anyway. It initially set a half dozen fruit or so and I removed them all except for 1 Shinseiki fruit. (Couldn’t resist). Throughout the summer the tree didn’t thrive even though it set fruit. the leaves always seemed somewhat curled and there was really no spur or lateral growth. By the end of the season after leaf fall the tree looked bad. The limbs looked dark and I didn’t think it was going to make it over the winter. I talked to Raintree and they agreed to send me a replacement this spring which they did (albeit different varieties). I planted the new pear tree along with a couple other pears and they are thriving. Much different from last years tree. Instead of pulling last years tree out of the ground I did a scratch test and which showed the tree was still alive. So this spring while my other trees were all leaving out this pear tree was very slow. It finally leafed out over the last few weeks but was about 6 weeks later than the other trees. Again the leaves are somewhat curled and I suspect will never thrive. I’ll remove it likely but as of right now I’m kind of interested to see what will happen to it throughout the summer.

Do you think it was the poor root mass that ultimately is leading to poor growth? A cherry tree planted at the same time also had poor roots but it has thrived.