Aristocrat Pears and Orange Pollen

Asked May 20, 2018, 12:53 PM EDT

I stumbled on this site after a search, and the question about Aristocrat Pear Trees and orange pollen was answered as “unrelated” to the tree as spring flowers had already come and gone. I’m here to tell you, that with an ~25 year old Aristocrat this is the first time I’ve seen these “hairy” berries in mid/late May. I just took the attached photos today, May 20. This orange pollen is everywhere after a light rain this morning. I’m wondering if this could be some sort of end-of-life indicator. The tree appears otherwise healthy.

Denton County Texas

1 Response

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These pears are probably infected with one of the cedar rusts, probably the cedar-quince rust. These rust diseases require two hosts to complete the life cycle. They cause spore releasing galls to grow on red cedars and other junipers. The cedar-quince rust spores infect nearby pears, apples, quince, and other plants of the rose genera.

The branches of the infected junipers form cankers, swollen areas that may split, and orange blisters. On other hosts, such as the pear, cankers may also form on the branches and small tubules grow on the leaves and fruit.

To prevent infection, pear or other rosaceae trees are sprayed with fungicide, beginning in the spring at the early bud phase before bloom, when the juniper host releases the spores. Early protection of apples, crabapples, pears, and hawthorns is especially important for control, as most infections occur within the first 30 days after bloom.

For some reason, this year seems to be a good year to see it emerge. While it is late to begin an effective fungicide schedule, be sure to begin spraying next spring at the crucial time.

Prune out and remove infected limbs and fruits from infected juniper and pear trees.

Avoid overhead watering methods because splashing water quickly spreads the pathogens.

The best way to control the disease is to not have juniper trees near the susceptible species. You may consider removing the nearby cedars or other juniper that may be hosting the disease spores. There are resistant cultivars available if you decide to replace your pears.

These links have more information, illustrations, and fungicide recommendations:

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/your-garden/help-for-the-home-gardener/advice-tips-resources/pests-and-problems/diseases/rusts/cedar-quince-rust.aspx

https://agrilifecdn.tamu.edu/plantclinic/files/2010/09/CedarQuinceRust.pdf