What's going on with my Kieffer pear?


My kieffer produced a lot of blossoms this year and I thought I’d finally get some fruit from it…based on these pictures I don’t think it’s going to happen. Last year I cut it back pretty significantly after it had what I thought might be fire blight.I don’t spray any of my trees, and the kieffer is the only one of my 4 pears that has this problem. You can see from the pics that the fruits are blackened and dying this seems to go back to the base causing that part of the branch to die…I’ve cut these sections out, but I’m thinking it might be time to try a different variety…thoughts?


Looks like fireblight to me. I would cut back several inches back from the blackened part and then clean my cutters with lysol or dilute clorox and cut again. Spray the cut with disinfectant. Keep a close eye on the tree and look for new strikes. You have to be willing to take out whole branches to keep the infection from reaching the trunk if necessary.

Or I could be wrong. Still, it looks like the infection likely occurred during bloom. I hope it’s limited in scope for you- good luck.


thanks @marknmt, you’re correct, the strike or whatever it is did occur right after the bloom when the fruits started to set…I’m keeping a close eye on it to see if anything else gets hit, but it’s not looking good…

with everything I cut out from last year, there isn’t much tree left…


Dern. I would love to be wrong here, Jeremy. Let’s hope somebody here can come up with a better guess.


Yes it’s fireblight remember next year to spray pre-bloom with copper to prevent FB.


thanks @clarkinks…I’ve got some copper guess I’ll give it another shot next year…very disappointing because it looked like I was going to get a good amount of fruit this year.


I thought Keiffer was supposed to be fireblight resistant? Fireblight is caused by Erwinia amylovora. What if what you see in the photos is caused by Pseudomonas syringae (bacterial blight that commonly shows up on lilac and can be on pears?). Just a wild thought since both of these bacteria cause the same damage and enter thru wounds or flowers.


Resistant does not mean immune. It still gets fireblight but it doesn’t typically die from it. Blossom blast as an example among others does not typically kill wood turning it black like that as is shown in the picture above.


What were weather conditions like during bloom? Temperature and precipitation wise


For March we had about 2 inches of rain and the average temp was about 62.


Definitely fireblight, but I don’t think that’s a Kieffer pear. Kieffer pears don’t have highly symmetric shape in their fruits. And one thing nice about the real Kieffer Pear, is that even if they get infected with fireblight, they can tolerate it and still produce. The fireblight don’t spread way down into the branches. So if it isn’t a Kieffer pear and it has fireblight spreading, you’ll have to get ahead and cut at least 1 ft down from the visible bottom spot of the infection. Check out the cut wood if there’s some staining in the cambium, and if there is, then cut further another foot.


hmm, if it’s not Kieffer I wonder what it is…As far as I recall that’s what was on the label when I got it from the nursery abd it’s recorded in my records. Maybe it was mislabelled??


To be sure, do you have a pic of the ripe fruits? It should be yellowish, uneven bumpy shape, and crunchy. It is a hybrid between Asian and European pear.


I’ve never had one fully ripen yet…you can see in this picture the bottom of the fruit has a reddish tint…not sure if that’s characteristic of a kieffer. The fruits that are still on the tree have gotten a bit larger…I’ll take some more pics maybe that will help with the ID…


here are a couple of closer pics from the remaining fruit…the fruits clearly have a slight reddish tint.

These fruits are on my other pear which I believe is a Leconte, but now I’m doubting that as well…


Kieffer pears


You will probably have to wait until the fruit is bigger or even actually ripe. That may tell you if the fruit is a Kieffer or not. These early pics can only give you a reference as to what they look like in the early spring, this year.


Kieffer are the most mislabeled tree I’ve ever seen. I grow real ones and several sold as kieffer that were not. You might like this thread http://www.growingfruit.org/t/kieffer-pear/2238


Those could be kieffer but that entire class of hybrids look fairly similar. We won’t know for sure until we see when they ripen.


Hopefully I’ll get to find out…that is if the critters don’t get to them first…