Disease ID help requested for asian pear tree

Asked May 25, 2018, 6:54 PM EDT

HI, we bought our house last July and think that this tree is an asian pear tree, but are not sure. It seemed healthy and was producing tasty fruit when we moved into the house last summer. This spring, as the leaves began growing, we noticed some strange leaf issues. First of all, the leaf growth is very sparse. Second, while most of the leaves are normal-looking, some are all freakishly bubbled up and rotten-looking. Please see attached photos: 1. The tree with noticeably sparse leaves; 2. One of the rotten, bubbly leaves. If it is diseased, is there a cure? Or is our only option to remove the tree? Thanks so much! -Lori

Multnomah County Oregon

3 Responses

Your tree is a peach and it has a common disease, peach leaf curl, which produces this strange sort of distortion.

Peaches and nectarines are challenging to grow in the northwest due to 2 common serious diseases: peach leaf and bacterial canker.

Management for both peach leaf curl and bacterial blight/canker relies on selecting tolerant varieties. Even so, those varieties will benefit from being sprayed at least for the first 2 or 3 years after planting.

Then, too, remove all affected leaves, on the tree or those which have dropped, and discard them in the trash.

According to our official disease management resource, “The following peach or nectarine cultivars are offered by a variety of west coast nurseries as curl resistant: Autumn Rose, August Etter, Avalon, Avalon Pride, Charlotte, Early Charlotte, Early Crawford, Frost, Indian Free, Kreibich, Muir, Nanaimo, Oregon Curl Free, and Q-1-8.”

Even though resources may refer to “disease resistance,” the concept to remember is that nothing is 100 percent resistant; the weather during some years is more favorable to disease than during other years.

“Two fungicide applications are recommended for western Oregon: at 50% leaf fall (late October), and again at delayed dormant (usually in late February, before floral buds open).”

Products available for use by home gardeners include Monterey Liqui-Cop and Ortho MAX Garden Disease Control.

Limiting the leaf curl (also, bacterial blight/canker) can be a frustrating, and continual, challenge. If you want to grow your own peaches, realize you don’t have to keep someone else’s mistake. Consider replacing it with a resistant kind.

See “Peach Leaf Curl” at http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/r602100311.html.

Hi Jean, thank you so much for your detailed answer. I now know it's a peach tree (I had it confused with the asian pear tree nearny), and I think we are going to go ahead and remove the tree. It looks just miserable and I am not a fan of fungicide. I think we are going to go ahead and plant some native plants there instead. Thanks again-you went above and beyond in answering my question. :) -Lori

Have fun in your new-to-you garden!