Pears hard and cracked

Asked September 6, 2020, 2:33 PM EDT

The pears on both of my trees do not ripen but are hard, discolored and cracked. I am attaching a photo and only one year did I have pears that were edible.

Lincoln County Oregon

3 Responses

Hi and thanks for contacting Ask an Expert.
This is most likely pear scab. This is a fungal disease that causes cracking and hard, corky areas in the pears.
Fungicide sprays are necessary if the weather is rainy and leaves are likely to remain wet for 9 or more hours. Fungicide applications require careful attention to timing to prevent early infection.

Scab treatments made when trees are completely dormant aren’t effective and aren’t recommended. If treatments are needed, the generally recommended time is between when buds begin to break and a month after petal fall.

Since your tree is already infected, watch for rain and apply a fungicide as soon as you see the tips of the leaves emerge. A second application 10 to 14 days later is a good idea. You can spray before the blossom clusters open.. If rainy weather continues, apply a third spray after the petals have fallen and the pollinators are not longer around. Both of these fungicides will kill all insects they hit.

The surfaces of the fruit and foliage become more resistant to infection as the season progresses, although extended wet, foggy weather can lead to an infection period due to secondary spores that develop on leaves and fruit. If no scab infections are evident 1 month after petal fall, secondary infections probably won’t be a problem, and fungicide sprays can stop. However, continue to watch for pinpoint scab symptoms, especially if late rains occur.

Use Rex Lime Sulfur (found at Coastal and Wilco stores), and alternate with Neem oil. You can order Neem online. Purchase pure Neem oil, no other additives. Follow the instructions for both products to the letter. Alternating fungicides actually enhances the effect of both.

Clean up any fallen fruit or leaves and dispose of them . Do not put them in the compost pile. Mulch with clean leaves, wood chips or shredded wood, leaving a 6 inch circle clear around the trunk. There is more information on this link. And further info here:

If you have further questions, please contact us again.

Do you know somebody that can do this when necessary? I personally could not do this, as one tree is about 25 feet tall, and I am definitely not a young person.
Thank you.
Wes Gromlich
Phone 541 996-9600

Dear Wes,
We cannot recommend any commercial businesses. However, there are many, many landscape companies in the area and they can both prune and spray for you. If you have them bring the tree down to bout 12-15 feet you could spray most of it. If you do not wish to spray, buy the products and have them spray for you. Look in the newspaper under landscaping or online for landscapers and the name of your city.
One thing I would do is make sure they use a 10% bleach solution to clean their tools before using them on your trees and tell them what to spray and when to spray. Many landscapers do not use organic sprays. If you have any further qustions, please re contact us. S