Damage to pear tree
I have an asian pear tree that I planted in the Fall of 2010. For the second growing season in a row I have noticed that the apical/terminal bud(s) have been damaged. Essentially the apical bud has been removed. Importantly, the plant tissue "ends" left behind are black almost as if someone took a blow-torch and singed off the apical buds on the tree.
My original thought was fireblight but my understanding after doing some research is that fireblight is connected to tree flowering and this tree has not flowered yet since it is too young. I would worry that this was done by an animal (deer) but only on very rare occasions have deer been in my backyard and never this time of year. I have not notice any similar damage to any other plants that I am sure they would fine attractive. Also deer damage would not explain the black tissue left behind. The link to three images are not great but might give some idea. Any idea of what this might be from and what I can do in the future to prevent it? Thanks.
Here is a link that might be useful: pear tree