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.
A copper spray should not hurt a thing just in case it is fireblight. In zone 4b i do find fireblight issues like that unusual. That would be expected further south.
I hit all of my pears and apples with copper and oil last week.
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.
In a previous post regarding a similar issue (New pear trees with black edges on leaves - #11 by 7catcmom), @alan mentioned Pear Psylla. Wondering what you all may think? The injury looks similar, but it seems too early for bug pressure up here…but maybe I’m wrong .
Do you you do any dormant oil sprays?
I did not this year. The late winter/early spring weather was a bit crazy and threw my schedule off. Just about any time I was planning on spraying we had winds, rain, and/or snow. So, I settled for a late holistic spray.
It would be very premature to destroy the tree at this point—or to give up growing trees altogether. I sometimes see similar blackening/curling of pear leaves here. I’ve always associated it with the foliar phase of fire blight—fire blight (like death) has many doors and many guises—though it could be something else. If I don’t see shoot strikes I don’t sweat it overmuch. And if I do see shoot strikes, I remove them. And if the tree fails despite my efforts I say, “Well, dang,” and get another tree with hopefully better resistance.
I would do exactly as Clark says in this case: spray some copper just in case, then wait and see. And don’t sweat the small stuff in the meantime.
I sympathize fully. They are destroyers here, too. I’ve got cages around everything. That seems to be the only way to fully stop the rabbit damage.
This is a good perspective and thank you for the thoughtful gut check. I will spray with copper and keep a watch on things. My initial hesitation with keeping it was I didn’t want it to infect the other pears/apples, which I just recently planted. Notably, I am babying a surviving pear tree that was 50%-60% girdled by rabbits, hoping I can pull it through and I’m not sure it is strong enough to fight off other things. But, I will keep a watchful eye on everything and hope for the best.
Be careful about spraying copper when your tree has leafed out. It can cause leave damage.
If I were you, I would take a wait and see approach.
If it is psylla, look into how to handle that. If you spray oil, it needs to be summer oil.
Well, I managed to even stump my local extension office (U of MN). They said they haven’t seen the combination of cupping, curling, and the blackening previously. They said it does not look like traditional fireblight, but we should test. So, I am sending in a sample for testing.
Another thought: any chance this is damage from Neem/the holistic spray I just used on Sunday? Maybe hitting the tender new leaves just emerging was too much? I happened upon the below video and the similarities are notable: Has Neem Oil DAMAGED your plants? Comment below. - YouTube
Many pears are sensitive to neem oil; karanja oil is sometimes used on pears instead of neem for this reason. I burned the heck out of figs with some neem oil once.
Could well be the problem.
We should have asked you what your “Phillips’s holistic spray” was. It could be burn from neem oil.
Pls let us know what the extension service say.
Neem, liquid fish, kelp, EM-1 effective microbes, and molasses. For reference, everything had just budded out and the blooms were not quite open.
I will report back on what the sample says.
Hoping if this is burn that more leaves pop out since there’s only a handful of open leaves…
My blossom blight tends to show up a bit later than this. More like near petal drop and not when there are buds still not open. This year I had quite a bit of bloom freeze with blackened fruitlets after temps in 20s for many hours.
The resulting damage looks suspiciously like FB had it not been in conjunction with those late freezes. I still have some fruitlets that I’m on the fence about that I haven’t pruned out. I’ve been weighing the risk of FB against the possible damage to future fruiting buds if I prune. Some of these trees have bloomed for the first time ever. I don’t know if my hesitancy makes any sense or not.
I vote for pear psylla. If your lucky they’ll disappear this year after there first cycle. What rootstock is it on? Newer rootstocks give some resistance allowing the tree to bounce back.
I believe OHxF87. Is there any way to treat for Psylla? I’m reading applications of surround?
I had an old tree much heavier infestation than you, I didn’t have any luck. The OHx87 is supposed to be resistant. That is what I replanted with, and haven’t seen them since. Check and see if your variety is susceptible. Regarding the Parker Pear: Insect visitors include pear psylla. Hopefully you just have visitors.