Stony Pit virus pear Stark Bro

Doug321April 9, 2013

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 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.

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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)


My Starking Hardy Giant has been 12 yrs old. So far no stony pit virus. It produced a lot of large sweet pear at the end of September. I will keep an eye on it. No problem here.


Here is a link that might be useful: Stony pit virus

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 9:57AM
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oh oh... I've just placed an order for 3 Asian pears at Stark Bros. Are they going to be infected with the virus? When did you purchase your pears, and when did you first notice the virus? I wonder if I'll need to cancel my order...

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 6:40PM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)


I don't think you going to have any problem. Mine Hardy Giant Asian pear is doing just fine. I have so much fruits and have to give bunch to family member in late September. In addition, the Honey Sweet have no problem with any disease.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 7:13PM
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Thanks for the post Tony, but it seems you've purchased your trees a long time ago? Please correct me if I'm wrong. I guess I'm more concerned about the newer root stocks being sold at Stark Bros.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 8:05PM
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I was hoping that there is a cure. My Asian pear Hosui is a least 7 yrs old. I purchased mine from Stark Bros. Last couple of years we started noticing deformed pears, but this year all pears are infected with this virus and they are hard as rock. I am saddened to hear that there is no cure and the tree needs to be cut down.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 2:50PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

It likely isn't their rootstock that's infected. It's the mother tree from which they collect budwood to graft onto the rootstock. They might well have corrected the situation by now.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 5:08PM
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