Pear leaf spot (or scab), nectarine leaf issues, and a few other fruit tree questions

I’ve got an Ayers Pear (on OHxF87) from Raintree that is in its second season in my yard. The first year it didn’t put out many leaves but the central leader grew a bunch (guessing it is roughly 15 ft tall now). This year it put out more leaves, but I’ve noticed that most of them now have brown spots and are starting to die and fall off. I’m not sure whether this is pear leaf spot or pear scab. I sprayed with Copper Soap (octanoate) early March, and admittedly should have followed up with a more regular spraying schedule but did not. I just sprayed with copper again today, and was wondering what else, besides spraying with copper every week or every other week, I can do for the tree now. Should I remove the really bad looking leaves on the tree to prevent more spread? (I know I should clean up any fallen leaves quickly). Will I get more new leaves this season? The limbs have put on some growth this season (maybe about 8 inches so far), but the tree has not yet had a season where it has produced any blossoms. Here are some pictures of the current state of the leaves:

The pear tree itself, while quite tall, is still very thin, to the extent that wind and rain on the leaves will often cause the central leader to bend over substantially until the leaves dry. One of the branches, which used to be growing upwards, also has fallen to be mostly horizontal (I think due to the weight of the leaves vs the girth of the branch).

I also have a Yumm Yumm nectarine that grew a TON from the whip I planted early last year (started out 20" tall, now probably 7 feet with lots of branches). It put out some blossoms and has some fruit on it now (maybe 20 or so). I sprayed it with copper early March, same as the pear, but neglected to follow up, and now it also has some spots on its leaves and some are falling already. Is there anything I should do with it besides restarting a more routine copper treatment, as per the pear? I can get some pictures if that’d be helpful.

My Morris plum seems to be happy with respect to leaves, but I’ve noticed that the tips of two new branches are looking…bad. I recall that this happened to the plum last year closer to the end of the season, and also to the nectarine. Any idea what this is?

The plum also hasn’t put out blossoms (the Methley, planted in the same season about 30 ft away, put out a few at the beginning of this season)

Finally, I have an Appalachian redbud (non-fruit, I know) that has done well for a few years since it was planted but this year nothing is going on with the tree above about 3 feet above the soil. There are a few small leaves and branches coming out from the trunk at this height, but above that, everything seems dormant/dead. There are buds, but they haven’t flowered, and it is far too late in the season for that (there are plenty of identical trees around the neighborhood that have flowered and have leaves everywhere)…not sure what to do with this one either.

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The problem with the shoot tips looks like an infestation of oriental fruit moths.


Agree with ofm for number 2. You can confirm by pruning off and splitting the growth in half
It will be hollow until you get to the grub.

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Some leaves look like scab. Next year, if you are spraying with copper for pear scab you should use copper hydroxide (Kocide) copper metallic equivalent 30%, vs. copper octanoate (Liquid Copper Fungicide) copper equivalent 1.8%.
In my wet winter climate, certain unsprayed pears get 100% pear scab on leaves and all fruit is scabby.
Next year a good regimen for fungal protection would be to alternate Kocide with Lime Sulfur.

Yup, found the grub. What would be the best treatment at this stage? I found a website indicating spinosad may be effective, would that help? Can I spray spinosad and copper at the same time, or should I perhaps alternate weeks? I also have neem oil, would that do anything useful?

Spinosad does work pretty well overall- that is usually what I use with surround wp. I will have OFM impacting some of the shoots pretty often (too early right now), without a major impact. Of course I probably do not spray as often as I could or should.

I am in Canada with very little pesticide access. I plan on spraying my affected trees with btk. Not sure how good it is overall.

Last year my two peaches were untouched by the ofm despite doing nothing as they were young.

Be careful if you are planning to spray copper after leaves are out. I’ve learned the hard way what the literature says: It’s very easy to burn leaves with copper (at least with Kocide). Many people/sources will say use 1/2 strength but I’ve damaged young, tender leaves with copper even at half-strength, so I no longer will use it at all on leafed out trees. There are other options available but it sounds like maybe you are trying to stay organic- which I respect but don’t practice. I have terrible OFM problems but it is ALWAYS on my stone fruit- not sure I’ve ever seen a single flagged tip on pears like you have. OFM weapons like Spectracide once and done (Lowes) and Imidan are great at OFM but again, since you mentioned Spinosad I suspect you are trying to be organic. Good luck!

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To clarify, the OFM issues are only on the plum and the nectarine, the pear is unaffected by that. The pear has the brown spots all over the leaves. My fault for listing too many different issues with too many different trees in one thread…

I’ve only sprayed copper octanoate (“copper soap”) so far (which I think is supposed to be gentler), haven’t tried Kocide. The nectarine seems pretty unhappy all of a sudden and is dropping leaves (young and old equally) which are still green, not sure whether that’s due to the spray or something else…based on timing I’d guess the spray? The pear seems to be keeping its leaves though. Still, it sounds like I should dial down the strength just in case it is the copper that is upsetting the nectarine.

Thanks for the help!

When I have used copper, it is 2 tbsp per gallon of copper octanoate. Last night we had some rain, and today the pear leaves are looking much worse. I sprayed them with copper on Friday, after which they continued to slowly deteriorate until this past rain. Would this be phytotoxicity, or just lack of protection by copper and instead proliferation of whatever the problem is (scab/spot/whatever)? The newest growth looks the healthiest; the leaves on the oldest growth are the most problematic.

As for the nectarine, it continues to drop leaves, and the smaller leaves closer to the trunk are all turning yellow with green spots. Leaf drop is generally on sections closer to the trunk. The young growth at the end of the tips is still fine (except for perhaps OFM). The nectarine was also sprayed with 2 tbsp/gallon of copper octanoate. I also gave it some fertilizer, and now wondering if this yellowing and leaf drop is a sign of burned roots (I likely poured the fertilizer too close to the trunk…and this is a young tree)