|I bought a house with a Seckle Pear tree and the pears developed last year but then developed cracks and turned dark in color before falling off. The deer still loved them but I got none. What caused this and what can I do to prevent it. It is spring here in PA and the fruit has just set and the flowers are gone.
|It sounds like scab disease to me. Apples develop a similar disease and the best control begins before the flower petals open, continuing during fruit development. It's a little late for this approach so now that the fruit has set, spray Soap-Shield? Fungicidal Soap when the disease first appears, and repeat at 7-10 day intervals for as long as needed. For optimum control, begin spraying at the green-tip stage of bud development. Repeat at 7-10 day intervals for as long as needed. To reduce disease, remove leaf debris and infected fruit in the fall. Most infected pears can still be eaten if the scabby area is removed.
Next spring, your tree can be sprayed with Bordeaux (lime-sulfur). This fungicide must be applied early and thoroughly to protect new growth. Apply according to label directions; as the buds break until the leaves are fully expanded. Do this at prepink, pink, calyx, and first cover.