The Q&A Archives: brown curly leaves on pear trees

Question: we have two established pear trees (10 yrs old) and every year the leaves turn spotty brown and curl. we've only seen a handful of pears on the tree the last two years and they have been small and before they get big they 'crack'. what is causing this and how can we prevent it so we can enjoy a good harvest?

Answer: Without inspecting your pear trees, it's difficult to diagnose the problem. It could be cultural, but it might also be a disease that's causing the symptoms you describe. Carefully inspect the twigs and branches for discolored areas and cankers (sunken areas or raised areas). If either are present, you could be dealing with scab or fire blight. If neither are present, the problem could be powdery mildew. I highly recommend you take samples of the affected leaves plus a fruit or two to your local Cooperative Extension Office for professional diagnosis. Helpful folks there can positively identify the problem (or will send it to WSU's plant diagnostic lab in Puyallup). They will also provide control recommendations. Contact:
Washington State University Thurston County Extension
720 Sleater-Kinney Road SE, Suite Y
Lacey, WA 98503
Phone: 360-786-5445

Best wishes with your pear trees!

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