Hello all, after rabbits destroying 60% of my orchard one of my remaining pear trees started showing some concerning symptoms and I. Am. Worried. See the below pictures.
I am having trouble diagnosing this one as there are many pear diseases which produce these black marks. Anyone have any idea? I am dreading if it’s fire blight because it’s on many leaves all around the tree. Thoughts? Any idea on treatment?
My pears have similar things going on every year in the spring time, on leafs and flower clusters. But it’s not wide spread, just here and there. I think it’s a blight. I just pick off the infected leafs and flowers and throw them in the garbage can. Hope someone else will chime in to help make a conclusion
Interesting thought. There are also no cankers I can see or shepherd’s hooks, although it is very early. It had what looked like leaf spot last year, but this doesn’t seem like that. I wondered if it’s pear psylla or something else, but I cannot seem to identify whatever this is.
Unfortunately fireblight will be a problem if it is prevalent in your area. My solution would be spray with copper now. @scottfsmith said it correctly we dont know it is not fireblight and what else is it likely to be? Fortunately due to your dilligence of removing infected parts the disease was prevented from entering the tree thus far. Is this the trees first time blooming? If so that is when you typically see fireblight. “Due to the high susceptibility to fireblight, pears should only be pruned when dormant (winter-early spring) unless one is pruning out existing fireblight damage (spring) to prevent it from spreading further.” More about the Parker pear below. There are many positives about the tree but the negative is disease susceptibility. The treatment for pears is very inexpensive and is nearly the same for susceptible apple as shown here An early-season copper application will help avoid feeling “the blues” about diseases - MSU Extension
Parker pear was developed by the University of Minnesota and released in 1934. The fruits are medium-sized, green, and often develop a slight red blush on the sunny side of the fruit. While most pears need to be picked at the green/ripe stage and then slow ripened off the tree, Parker seems to be ok when picked fully tree-ripened as it does not have many issues with core rot like other pear varieties. Picking at the green/ripe stage is best as they will keep the longest when refrigerated.
It bloomed last year (first year I had it). I have not pruned it yet because it is still somewhat shapely and was going to wait.
Random fire light strikes are tolerable; I think my main concern is that each branch has these effected leaves, including short 3-4 inch new branches. So, if it is fireblight, I can’t just prune it out and I likely have to remove the entire tree (which is depressing).
Not remove the tree if you spray with copper once or twice a year in addition to pruning you could be fine in your area. The fact it bloomed last year and lived is good news. Worse case scenario grafting the tree over to a fireblight resistant variety is possible. I have done it many times on my own trees. As an example harrow pears frequently bear fruit a year after grafting. If you decide to change the tree over you will not lose the hard work which is growing the roots of the tree. Zone 4b is not known for big problems. A spray or two with copper once a year in the spring may solve all or most of your fireblight problems. It is not to late this year. We dont know its fireblight but it makes the most sense given the symptoms thus far.
I’m going to go with “not fireblight”. As far as exactly what it is, I don’t know. I’ve always called it environmental distress. e.g. too much water, too little water, frost damage, sun burn, wind burn, etc. etc. etc.
I would begin a spray program for insects and diseases.
I sprayed them all with Michael Phillip’s holistic spray last weekend, but I’ll get them with copper this week. Hopefully that will keep whatever this is at bay. I’ll also keep an eye on it to see whether it worsens.