The Q&A Archives: Diseased Bradford Pear

Question: My Bradford Pear has some broken branches with black leaves. Someone told me it was a disease called fire blight. Could you tell me if this sounds correct and is there anything I could do to save this tree?

Answer: Fire blight would not be responsible for the broken branches. The black leaves could be due to fire blight, however it generally strikes entire shoots and leaves rather than individual leaves. Fireblight primarily attacks in the spring and by now is inactive. Prune out infected shoots a few inches below the dead area and remove them from the area.

If portion of leaves are turning black rather than blighting of entire leaves and shoots it may be due to a root related problem. Physical root injury, poor soil drainage and burn from excessive applications of dry fertilizer can cause such symptoms.

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