Edges of new pear trees' leaves turing brown/dying

Lesuko(5, Boulder CO)May 22, 2012

We bought 2 bare root pear trees and planted them about 1.5 months ago. We have leaves and stems growing and they appear to be healthy, however on closer look, I noticed the edges of the leaves are dying off- kinda like a vascular thing (I'm guessing). Is something eating the leaves, diseased, or possibly blight?

We have a potomac and a honeysuckle (a seckel variety).

I will try to attach a photo.- doesn't seem like i'm able to even from the preview page. only a link.



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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

Leslie, I noticed no one has responded so I'll give it a shot.

I remember at one time that pear rootstock did this for me. It can either be a water issue, however with the rain we've had lately I can't imagine it's too dry, or it could be fire blight. I googled "fire blight pear" and found this good site (linked below). You might want to do the same. Maybe it is fire blight, but I personally have not had any trouble with fire blight on my pears in Denver. It could just be transplant shock also.

Here's another site with pictures of early infection:

It would help if you could post a picture.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fire Blight on Pears

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 2:33AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Someone else from Colorado posted a similar question a few weeks ago. My response was that it was likely fireblight singeing the leaves. This is a very minor strike on a relative scale so is not so worrisome, but it means you should be watching carefully for a larger infection, and perhaps spraying copper in the early spring next year. I guess its a big year for fireblight in Colorado..


    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 8:44AM
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Lesuko(5, Boulder CO)

Thanks Scott and milehighgirl. I took a leaf to the local nursery and they couldn't identify it as fireblight yet. If the browning stays on the edges, I'm told it's most likely frost damage (we did have our usual late frosty nights in may). However, if it does progress and the whole leaves start to turn black, then it's FB.

The good news is that there is new growth. As we are new to fruit trees, we have no idea what to expect.
Thanks again,

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 11:05AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Leslie, I don't agree with what the nursery told you. I have similar leaves this spring on my pears and they all formed well after frost danger had passed during a period when my apples had a lot of fireblight. In seeing many such leaves over the years I have rarely seen the firelight progress on them, there was not enough of an infection for the disease to propagate. One thing they could be correct about is there is some chance it is frost damage.


    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 9:59AM
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Lesuko(5, Boulder CO)

Hi Scott,
Our pears were supposed to be moderately resistant to fireblight. I do think you're right though. Since this was a bare root with little growth, do you know if I should pick off the leaves? It would be about 30% on one tree- i'm just worried it wont recover because there are only a few leaves to begin with: 30 or so.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 7:46PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Leslie, I usually leave those leaves on, mainly because I have too many other trees to tend to and no time to pick them off. If it is just on the tips it does not spread, it is not virulent. If it is all the way back it needs to be removed. Since you have so few leaves I would just remove any leaf that is completely browned to the base.


    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 9:09PM
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Beeone(4 N. Wyo.)

Without a picture, it is hard to tell, but what you describe sounds a lot like leaves on my trees, also. However, the dying leaf edges I attribute to possible frost, definite wind, and now coupled with rain. So, essentially what I am seeing on mine is mechanical damage to the leaf edges from recent wind and rain on tender new leaves. I seem to see this most years on my trees and see no ill effects other than cosmetic.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 2:34AM
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Had same problem last year- thought it was fire blight but turned out to be wind damage to tender young foliage

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 12:57PM
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Lesuko(5, Boulder CO)

Interesting. I've taken a few leaves to local nurseries and sent pics to the place I bought them from and everyone says something different. But supposedly their growth rate is strong so I'll guess I'll wait to see what happens.

Thanks everyone.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 9:49AM
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sterilize pruners with rubbing alcohol. cut fireblight out 8-10 inches below infection. Spray the cut with copper fungicide. Nordox (organic) or kocide 3000.

To prevent fireblight spray blooms with streptomycin.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 3:10PM
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