Stony Pit virus pear Stark Bro
I am writing to report that two Asian pear trees (a Hosui and a Starking Hardy Giant) that I purchased from Stark Bro's have severe Stony Pit virus. My Hardy Giant is ca. 9 years old and 95% of its fruit has been inedible for the past three years. This tree produced beautiful disease free fruit for the first four years. The Hosui tree is 3-4 years old and it produced ca. 15 pears in 2011, which all were infected with Stony Pit. A late frost killed all last year except for about 20 pears on the Hardy Giant, all which were infected with Stony Pit. According to the Penn State extension service Stony Pit is only spread by vegetative propagation and not by insect vectors (see http://extension.psu.edu/fruit-diseases/pear/stony-pit). If this is true then the source of the virus is in Stark Bros root stock. Since there is no cure for this virus I have no choice but to destroy these trees and purchase new ones from another source. Stark Bros have been unresponsive to my report. I recommend not purchasing Asian pear trees from them.