FAQ

Question

Q

I have a bartlett pear tree. A Limb is almost black, but growth was still coming out of the ends, so i didn't prune it off the tree all the way in the spring. Now other parts of the tree are turning black, some of the leaves are curling and turning black as well as some of the fruit. Can I save the tree, or do I need to pull it out. Also will this spread to my other two nearby peach and apple tree.

Answer(s)

A

Bartlett pear is very susceptible to fire blight, a bacterial disease that can eventually kill the entire tree.

Here is a link to more detailed information about fire blight:

http://utahpests.usu.edu/plantdiseases/htm/fruit/fireblight

and here is a link to a webpage with pictures of fireblight:

http://utahpests.usu.edu/htm/photo/id.2/gid.15

Apple is also susceptible to fireblight, but peach is not. Always watch your orchard carefully. If you see a branch tip showing the typical "crook" and blackened leaves, prune the branch back at least 12 inches below any discoloration. This will most likely prevent the disease from spreading into the rest of the tree.

On the other hand, are you sure your tree was not freeze damaged a couple of weeks ago? Blackened leaves are often caused by freeze damage. My grape plant was damaged , but new growth looks okay. If you see new, healthy leaves growing from the same branch tips where leaves are blackened, perhaps the tree is fine.

Posted on 5 Jun 2007

Maggie Wolf
Horticulture Agent, Salt Lake County

Other Questions In This Topic