Pear trees are grown in the orchards for their delicious fruits. Pear fruits are packed with a lot of nutrients.
Pear trees can be affected by a variety of diseases, like the other fruit trees. In this article, you shall find why your Pear leaves are turning black.
Black leaf curl Pear tree
Leaves curl and turn black when a Pear tree is infected by bacteria that causes Fire blight. Fire blight is a destructive disease.
Fire blight can kill blossoms, shoots, branches, and in severe cases, entire trees. Younger trees usually die in a season.
Established trees can survive longer than that. The orchard may suffer serious dieback, but it’ll survive for years.
What does Fire Blight look like on Pear trees?
Fire Blight symptoms appear on all the parts of a Pear tree. The infected Pear tree appears scorched and that is why it’s rightly called Fire Blight.
Blossom clusters and shoots
Blossom and spur symptoms are seen in the spring. The bacteria enter the plant through the flowers and young shoots.
The affected flowers become watersoaked and wilt. Such flowers turn brown eventually. The disease spreads into the other flowers.
Spurs become blighted too. In Pear trees, the spurs turn black.
As the bacteria spread into the twigs/shoots, they look like they’re watersoaked. The infection starts from the growing part of the twigs and moves down.
Infected twigs turn dark brown or black. The tips of the affected twigs curl/get wilted, resembling an inverted ‘J’.
The blighted leaves remain attached to the branches in the summer. A creamy white bacterial fluid oozes out of the branches during humid weather.
Stem cankers in Pear
The Pear tree bark cracks as the bacteria move into the tree from the twigs. Such cankers are common in Fire Blight affected Pear trees.
Bark on younger trees become watersoaked. The canker turns brown or purple. These cankers can girdle the trunk of your Pear tree.
This girdling can cause further dieback of the tree.
Blight on Pear fruits
Fire Blight symptoms are also seen on Pear fruits. Infected fruits turn dark brown to black in color. White, bacterial fluid oozes out of the fruits.
Fruit remains on the tree for a while. Eventually, the affected fruits dry out and help the bacteria overwinter.
Note: Blight even spreads into the rootstock, causing cankers in it. A canker girdle in rootstock can kill your Pear tree.
What causes Fire Blight on Pear trees?
A bacterial pathogen called Erwinia amylovora causes Fire Blight in Pear trees. The bacteria enter the plant through the blossoms in spring.
Fire blight is found commonly in Pear trees. This disease is quite destructive and can affect apple trees too.
Will Fire Blight kill my Pear tree?
Yes, Fire Blight can kill Pear trees. Fire blight kills younger trees in a season. It takes several years for Fire Blight to kill established trees/orchards.
The disease starts from the blossoms and spreads to the roots via the trunk. The tree dies off once the cankers girdle the rootstock.
How do you get rid of Fire Blight on Pear trees?
- As soon as you spot the infection in the blossoms/twigs, cut off those infected parts using a pair of pruning shears. Cut the twigs a foot away from the blackened part.
- Clean the pruning shears with some bleach solution after working on an infected plant.
- Apply liquid copper at the time of bud break to prevent the infection.
- Apply SERENADE Garden on the victim plant as soon as you see the first symptoms of the disease.
- Don’t prune/fertilize your Pear tree excessively. Such actions make the tree susceptible to infection.
- Plant Fire Blight resistant varieties whenever possible.
Pear tree leaves turning black and falling off
Pear tree leaves turn black and fall off when the tree is infected by Fabraea leaf spot. Fabraea leaf spot is a fungal disease whose symptoms are seen in the leaves and fruits.
This disease is also commonly called the ‘Black spot’ disease. This disease usually appears late in the growing season.
The spores of this fungus develop and spread in the rains. The disease first appears as purplish-black spots on the fruits and leaves.
In severe cases, the leaves fall off the tree and the fruits get deformed. Such black spots may also appear on the trunk of the tree.
These lesions eventually transform into cankers. Severe infection greatly deters bud formation in the Pear tree.
Black spots on Pear tree leaves treatment
- The fungicide you apply in the early season for Pear scab can prevent the ‘Black spot’ disease too.
- Contact fungicides like EBDC fungicides and Ziram can control Fabraea leaf spot efficiently.
Black spots on Pear tree leaves organic treatment
Below are few cultural control practices to treat/prevent Black spot disease in Pear tree.
- Don’t let the leaf debris pile up under the Pear tree. Leaf debris provides a suitable place for this fungal pathogen to overwinter.
- Remove the cankers as soon as you see them on your Pear tree.
- Plant varieties that are less susceptible to the ‘Black spot’ disease.
Pear tree buds turning black
Pear midge maggots turn the undeveloped fruits black. Pear midge is a tiny insect that resembles a mosquito. The insect lays eggs in the Pear tree buds just before the bud break.
The eggs hatch into larvae. These maggots then feed on the developing fruits. The insides of the developing fruits turn black in color.
The affected fruits fall off the Pear tree by May/June. The outer layer of the fruits turns black too.
Ways to get rid of Pear Midge Maggots
- Destroy the infected fruits as soon as you see them prevent future infestations.
- You can also plant resistant varieties to grow a healthy orchard.
- Cultivate the surrounding soil to eliminate the maggots that overwinter on the ground.
- Spray insecticides on a susceptible Pear tree just before bud break. I mean, spray the tree when the buds are in the ‘white bud’ stage.
Pear tree leaves brown edges
Pear tree leaves get brown edges when it suffers from frost damage. The foliage of the tree gets brown edges when the late/early frosts hit the tree.
The edges of the tree are the most affected as they aren’t protected well by the canopy. The brown leaves turn black eventually.
You don’t need to panic if you see brown/black leaves on the edges of your Pear tree. This might look ugly but it the tree will revive.
The plant tissues are damaged when the frost hits the tree. It may reduce the yield slightly but the tree recovers if you care well for it.
Happy Gardening 🙂