The Q&A Archives: Bradford Pear tree diseases

Question: My BP Tree has black dead leaves/limbs scattered all through it. Is this caused by too much water, fire blight or ants??We have had too much rain plus the yard has ant mounds all over it.
Thank You, Karen Davis
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Answer: Although the black leaves could be due to fire blight, it generally strikes entire shoots and leaves rather than individual leaves. Fireblight primarily attacks in the spring. Prune out infected shoots a few inches below the dead area and remove them from the area. If only portions 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. In your case it may simply be the result of overly soggy soils. I'd start by pruning out all the affect leaves and limbs and take a wait and see approach. Good luck with your pear tree.

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