Bradford Pear Leaves are Turning Dark Brown and Falling off

Asked May 21, 2013, 8:30 AM EDT

The leaves on my Bradford Pear tree are turning dark brown almost black and falling off. This is happening all over the tree, not just in one spot. It must be some kind of disease. How can I treat it and what is the name of the disease ? I think it may have started at the end of the season last year because some of the leaves that fell in October were more shriveled looking than normal. Thank you for whatever info you can provide.

Baltimore County Maryland cold damage fire blight foliar diseases bradford pear trees

1 Response

Due to the wet weather recently we are seeing a lot of foliar diseases. You may have fireblight. This is tricky because we had unusual late frosts last week that also caused blackening damage (mostly on new tip growth).
Assuming it is fireblight, which is common on pears, you may see what looks like a shepherd's crook or branch curling with leaves attached on branch ends.
Once we have some dry weather, you can reduce the future bacterial load by pruning back to 12-18 inches below the dieback section on the branches and cleaning up the dropped leaves. Discard these cuttings out of the landscape.
cm