The Q&A Archives: pear tree

Question: I have an old pear tree that's losing it's leaves already - it's August 1st. The leaves have black spots on them and are yellow. It has alot of pears on it which look OK. What's going on? Thank you.

Answer: Pear trees can develop scab disease just like apple trees. The best control is a preventative fungicide, in late winter and early spring, just as the leaves are emerging. The safest product is lime-sulfur (Bordeaux), sometimes marketed under the name "dormant spray". Since fungal spores can remain on tree limbs and branches it's important to thoroughly spray all parts of the tree. Follow the label directions and your tree should be scab-free next year. Be sure to rake fallen leaves and fruit from beneath the tree this fall so rain water doesn't splash the fungal spores back up onto the tree.

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