stony pit virus in quince and pear

Asked September 11, 2013, 3:03 PM EDT

Hi, I'm in N. Portland & have a quince tree & a Seckel pear tree next to each other. I finally figured out the quince has Stony Pit Virus. I'd bought it from PDX Nursery several years ago, and when I brought a diseased quince fruit in they thought it was from me watering! No. I figured it out because my Seckel right next to it finally bore this year, and started pitting along with the quince this last month. I didn't graft between them: the quince was from PDX Nursery, the Seckel from Home Depot, but planted the same year. The other quince that I have on the other side of the Seckel is disease free. Do I need to cut down the diseased trees, and can I re-plant a pear or a quince or will the soil/any leftover roots down there infect the new tree? All the info on the web says it's only spread thru grafting/manual propagation techniques & to take the tree out, but not if I can replant in the same area. I also see that Cydonia oblongatas (real quince, not the shrub) aren't susceptible to Stony Pit. So you guys may need to update your quince disease info. I've got it. One tree is a pineapple quince, the other I think is a Smyrna but I can't recall which is which. Have you had other reports of quince with Stony Pit and can my quince, diseased since 1st bearing year maybe 5-6 years ago, have infected the Seckel? It had no probs till this year but it also barely had any fruit till this year. Sorry about the rambling questions! Thank you, Nan Haemer, quince lover (quince cognac liquour is the BEST).

Multnomah County Oregon plant disease

1 Response

Research on plant viruses has been slow and our understanding of these diseases has been evolving over the years. This section on stoney pit is scheduled for updating this coming fall for release this spring. Please look for information on "Apple Stem pitting virus" as that is the most likely cause of your quince problem. There is no known vector so pulling out a diseased tree and replanting a healthy tree will be a OK. There may be other things that attack the tree but you would not get the virus unless it comes to you already infected.

They call these latent viruses because they may be hiding in the plant and not showing any symptoms. That is why they get spread so far and wide. Purchasing materials certified free of these viruses is the best way to go if you want to avoid the problem again.