Dying leaves and branches on fruit bearing pear trees

Asked July 20, 2018, 11:26 AM EDT

My three fruit bearing pear trees have branches and leaves that are black and dying. Is this some sort of blight and what can I do? Can these trees be saved?

Harford County Maryland

1 Response

The photos suggest that fire blight, a common bacterial disease of apple and pear, is causing these severe symptoms.

Please read our online information about this disease, including the "ugly stub" pruning technique. Sanitation is important in reducing the spread of fire blight. Spraying a copper fungicide when buds are just beginning to grow in the spring ("silvertip" stage) can also be helpful. Please read about prevention/control for fireblight in the VA Tech spray guide.

If this has been a recurring issue and the bacteria are in large scaffold branches or the trunk, these trees may weaken and decline. jt