Pear Tree Problems

BozBoy(4)May 18, 2012

I have a 4-5 year old Bartlett pear tree that I bought and planted from a local nursery early this spring along with two apple trees. I also planted a second pear tree from a different nursery that is doing fine. All the trees seem to be doing fine till I noticed the pear tree seemed to slow dramatically. The tree flowered and leaves were forming fine till all of a sudden the tree seemed to "dry up". The newly emerging leaves all stopped and curled up along with the already developed leaves. The blossoms that were on the tree also dried up. The leaves do not seem to be diseased or brown but have curled up. I live in central Wisconsin we had a very wet spell around the time that I noticed this and have kept up watering it on a regular basis as the soil seems to need it trying not to over or under water it. I�m new to fruit trees and am looking for some guidance.

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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Hard to say, I got the feeling they were too wet.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 1:44AM
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Beeone(4 N. Wyo.)

Sounds to me like your pear probably died. I would guess that something cut off the nutrients from the roots--soil too wet, something damaged the bark down low, some other problem.

You can wait and see if any new growth appears, otherwise just replace it this fall or next spring.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 1:55AM
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alan haigh

I transplant a lot of pears in my nursery and they suffer more from shock than any other species I grow. Sometimes they come out of a transplant with the leaves you describe and struggle along the first season but improve and become healthy eventually.

So the question is, did you buy the tree in full leaf in a pot or was it dormant at time of purchase? If it was dug and put in the pot or you bought it bare root it may be transplant shock. I also lose more pears than other varieties, especially when I try to move them bare root and they are over about 1.5" diameter.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 5:36AM
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Sounds like your young Bartlett got fireblight to me. Especially since it sounds like the symptoms started after flowering. When my pears get fb the leaves usually curl first then slowly but surley turn brown and black. Look at the ends of the branches,are they curling back? If so it is probably fireblight. The curling back is called a shepards crook and is charecteristic of fireblight.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 12:13PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

My biggest problem with pears is blister mite...If I don't get oil on them early, the trees look terrible. i've had several almost completely defoliate from it. What is funny, is right next to one tree that got hit hard, the Seckel pear looks perfect with no damage whatsoever. I use Neem and that seems to work well.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 3:27PM
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alan haigh

Pear blister mites can't be reached by any poison once they are in the leaves, I'm told. They key is to put down 2% oil just before new growth starts.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 6:03AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Continuing this tangent on blister mite, I have been using sulphur on blister mite. I discovered by accident that it worked well (was getting rid of spray load of sulphur by hitting a few pears and those had all dead mites in a few days). Then I googled it and found an official recommendation for it somewhere. They recommended lime-sulphur but I had good luck with plain sulphur. Early on I use oil which gets most of it, and a few weeks later the sulphur nails what is left.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 10:04PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)


I have some sulfur here so I'll have to try that next. I had it very bad when the first leaves came out...then i hit them with neem about a month ago, the next set of leaves were fine (no damage), now another flush of leaves look bad again so I hit them with another dose of neem. By far my biggest issue with pears.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 11:28AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Frank, the last two years I have hit the later blister mite with sulphur and after one spray that was it. Make sure to give the neem plenty of time to evaporate away before applying sulphur. A week should be long enough.


    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 1:14PM
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