Asian Pear Tree's Leaves and Blossoms have Turned Black

Asked May 16, 2013, 9:13 AM EDT

My five year old Asian Pear tree's leaves and blossoms have turned black. I showed a branch to my local nursery and they think it is " Fire Blight" but they are not sure. Last year it happened to one branch at the end of the season and it also appeared on an apple and quince tree. Damage was minimal. This year the Asian Pear is completely covered with black leaves but the the other trees are not infected at this time. Please advise me on what I have to do. Thanks

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

We agree that your Asian Pear tree is suffering from 'Fireblight'. Unfortunately, there is no really effective chemical control available to homeowners, so your only recourse is to prune any diseased branch, making your cut 10-12" below the affected area. Do not cut all the way to the main trunk, but leave a 'stub'. Then when the tree (and the disease) is fully dormant in mid-winter, prune off the stub, making a clean cut near and parallel to the trunk. If the disease reaches the main trunk, you will probably lose the tree.