Cleveland pear tree needs help

Asked May 18, 2020, 8:37 AM EDT

My Cleveland pear tree is not as full as last year, leaves are smaller and trunk has a split in it. I need help to save the tree. Some of the leaves have rust colored spots on them. I already lost one and not sure if this is blight that will infect all 6 trees.

Allegheny County Pennsylvania

1 Response

If you are really worried about the tree, I would contact a certified arborist to assist you. You can look for one in your local area here:

The trunk looks like it has a lot of damage.

Fire blight is one of the most common bacterial diseases of ornamental pear trees and is caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora. The disease mostly occurs during spring. Heavy application of fertilizer increases tree susceptibility to the disease, which is characterized by the appearance of blighted foliage and blossoms near stem ends. As the disease progresses, foliage rapidly wilts and browns, appearing fire-scorched or frost-damaged. Choose disease-resistant varieties to prevent the disease. If fire blight is present, prune away infected tree parts. Chemical control methods are rarely successful.

Your tree doesn't have that look of scorched leaves that is common with fire blight.

I can also suggest that you send a sample to PSU. If you send an email to, they can direct you with how to send a sample. Normally, they would take a sample, but during this time of pandemic, the offices are closed.