Pear Trees in Florida - Knowledgebase Question

Pensacola, FL
Question by nikkel1
February 23, 1998
My pear tree bloomed in spring, had pears, lost all its leaves immediatly, bloomed in November/December, and now is bare. I have two pear trees and the other one is in full bloom right now and the one is bare. Does it have fireblight, how do I treat it, will it spread to the other tree?


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Answer from NGA
February 23, 1998

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If your pear tree has fire blight there will be a burned/blackened look on some of the new growth. Inspect the trees carefully; if you see signs of fireblight you should prune off the affected growth back to healthy wood--at least 8 inches back from any visible blackening. Sterilize pruning tools between cuts with a 10 percent bleach solution. The disease is spread by insects, and can be a challenge to control.

Are the varieties you are growing well-suited to your climate? Some varieties are better grown in cooler climates. Good varieties for Florida include 'Flordahome', 'Hood', and 'Pineapple'. If you bought the trees from a reputable nursery, or if they have performed well in past years, this probably isn't a problem.

We have had a very mild winter in Florida this year and I believe many of our plants are confused. You said your pear tree bloomed in December--that could delay the bloom in spring. Are the trees the same variety? If they are, and they are behaving so differently, there may well be a problem with one of them. If they are different varieties, I wouldn't give up on the tree that has not yet bloomed.

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