Fire blight, drought, or something else?

This is one of my Asian pears. Can’t remember variety. We have been having a drought, and I have not been keeping up with the watering as I should. Do you think this may be fire blight, or something else like lack of water or another disease. Only tree like this and first noticed it last week.


That looks like fireblight. Fireblight can strike the whole shoots (where they bend over) but is also strikes that way, just blackening leaves. My pears usually get it like in your picture.


That is sad. Sorry.

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It’s not an automatic death sentence. It might recover.
to be on the safe side
if you trim off the brown,
then sterilize the pruning shears
with bleach or something before moving
to trim on another plant.

I have not experienced fireblight actually killing a tree, but it can happen.
Many times a clean shoot becomes the new leader and it outgrows the issue.

I don’t think that is fireblight. The leaf stems look solid. If it was FB the stems would wilt and ooze with golden “juice”. The bark on the new growth also looks good. Cut a twig in the worst spot, and if the wood looks clean inside I’d vote no FB. If you get some rain or a very humid morning, inspect it closely and if you don’t see any ooze anywhere I’d say no FB. That said, I have know idea what that is. Did it get really dried out and wilted, then get eventually some water and the tissues that survived the dry conditions rehydrated but the stuff that got too dry was toast while the rest recovered?

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I don’t have a lot of experience with fire blight on pears. Whenever I see blacked pear leaves (with no classic fire flight symptoms), I think of pear psylla damage.

Hopefully, @alan will chime in here.

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I agree with Barry, fireblight I’ve seen attacks the leaves and small stems at the same time killing both. The rest he says matches my experience as well.

However, usually when sudden death of leaves occurs like that it is form fireblight, but every week in my world of many orchards at least something happens I never saw before and can’t explain.

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The other thing is in my experience FB starts from one infection point such as a green twig or spur and spread out sequentially from there. But the photo appears to show many independent infection points on different leaves then spreading toward the stems. Unless you had a hail storm I don’t see how there were dozens of simultaneous infection points, although of course anything is possible and surprises happen all the time

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I checked today and there is not any oozing and the stems are still green and solid. Also, the damage has not spread further. So, hopefully not fireblight.

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Could be hot temps and somebody forgot to use the garden hose?

I have had that along with the more standard looking fireblight outbreak on neighboring limbs and trees which is why I classify that as fireblight. If it is indeed fireblight the pathogen is operating in some different mode it seems.

It could also be a different strain of fireblight, or some related thing. I am pretty sure it is a disease whatever it is, some of my pears got killed with that kind of thing. I also have a couple apples that regularly got it.

PS I Googled on strains of fireblight and got this: There are many strains it appears. They don’t discuss how their appearance can be different though (at least not that I could see from skimming).

PPS I had forgotten to mention one thing about this kind of infection… for me it always happens in the summer as opposed to the spring. So it could instead be related to the weather conditions, the blight might enter the plants by different means in warmer weather.

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I see no convincing evidence of fire blight. There is no ooze that I could see and the stems still appear live and well. I don’t know the cause but I would guess an environmental cause . FB almost always kills stems and they wilt concurrent with ooze

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