Cleveland Pear looks stressed

Asked April 28, 2017, 10:20 AM EDT

We discovered growth at the base of the tree and noticed the leaves and flowers look sparse and unhealthy. We had been away for a week and had not noticed it prior. Attached are photos of the growth. It looks gray and like kernels attached to the very base where the roots go into the ground . This tree is inthemiddle of a row of three pears and the other two look fine. What is this disease and how do we treat it? Thank you for your assistance. Mary

Washington County Maryland

1 Response

This is a sign that your tree is not only stressed but failing.
This is a type of fungi with a creepy name referred to as Dead Mans Fingers.
Multiple types of fungi can be found on dead and dying trees and shrubs. There are no cures once the tree or shrub is infected and the fungi cannot be eliminated from the surrounding soil once the tree or shrub is removed. Although there are no chemical cures for these diseases they can be prevented by proper planting and maintenance practices. Avoid damage from improper pruning, lawn mowers and soil compaction or excavation within the root zone.
If and when you choose to replace, we do not recommend using pears, as they have become invasive.