SOS Pear Disease ID and Treatment?

Do you you do any dormant oil sprays?

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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.

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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. :slight_smile:

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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

I had that too. Tips of flowers petals turn black ,so did some leafs too. Anytime when I see black on the pears makes my heart skip a beat.
I saw this branch on my pear this morning , it looks like the F word. I cut it off without delay.

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I don’t see anything going down to the branch. Everything seems isolated to the leaves at present. I assume if it remains so, that likely is not fire blight given that moves?

I also had temps in 70s/80s for a few days in early April before they dropped into the 20s/30s for a week or two. So, I’m wondering if those high temperatures broke dormancy, buds formed, then got some damage with the cold temps.

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Possible. Mine was minor damage and in very small area of a tree, Not a tree wide damage. Just a branch , or few clusters.