Problem With Pear Tree

Hi All, 

The other day I had loads of aphids on my pear tree, I sprayed it with washing up liquid solution as I normally do.  The good news when I have checked today is that all the aphids have gone, the bad news is I now have black leaves and lots of the flowers stalks ie fruit buds to be have fallen off.......I guess I won't be making as much pear chutney this year image

Please see photos below, is to my fault, is it normal for so many buds to drop off (I can't remember from the previous 2 years!) or is it diseased?






  • star gaze lilystar gaze lily Posts: 11,112

    Sorry OL, I don't know, but I thought I'd bump it up for you.image

  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    Thanks Lily image

  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 7,110

    I'm not an expert - but in the photo it only looks like the new leaves are affected- which makes me think it isn't a pest, but more likely a reaction to the spraying. Was it sunny when you did it - almost looks like the leaves have been scorched, which might have happened if the sun shone on water droplets.  They can always afford to lose a few flower buds, if there are still a few left on the tree you might be ok.  Fingers crossed

    The Stone Age didn’t end because they ran out of stones ......
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICTPosts: 10,266

    Hello. Did you spray the tree just before that nasty frost the other night?

    Lots of plants got caught out and had the tips of their leaves nipped. My plum trees got frosted, including all the fruit buds, which are now dropping off. 

    The buds could have dropped off because they didn't get pollinated. That is quite usual and not a bad thing really, if it happens in moderation. A tree can't keep all the fruit that might arise from all the blossom it makes, so it naturally drops some of them.

    I think the washing up liquid is a red herring. Incidentally, you might find that making a soap solution, rather than a detergent solution, is kinder to the plants. Just imagine that you are washing your hands with a bar of soap in a basin of water - that is the sort of thing I mean.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,838

    I agree with Pansyface - I think it's probably a combination of the spray and the frost so don't panic - it will survive image

    I use Ecover washing up liquid when spraying against aphids etc, at the sort of strength I'd use for ordinary washing up - I've not noticed any damage yet. image

    Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. 
  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    It wasn't frosty here, we escaped it image I've had a look on the top and there are still lots of buds so may still get my pears which is good, it was just quite scary seeing all the ones in the floor and the soil around it.

    I remembered last night (in bed) that I had also sprayed the rose which is near it, I've checked that this morning and it's fine.

    Thank you all, I feel a bit better now image

  • Lion SLion S Posts: 263

    It looks like Pear leaf blister mite. Read more about it here:

    If the infestation is severe, it is possible that the young fruit is infected.

  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    Thanks Flowerchild, I had looked at that already and other possibilities, but there are no 'blisters' the black parts aren't raised, they are just discoloured and they weren't yellow/orange/brown before, the leaves just went from lovely green and fresh to black.  In a way I am hoping it was just the washing up liquid and nothing more serious, although I'm kicking myself and won't be doing that again in a hurry.....what I don't understand is why it has never done it before??

  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,892

    Perhaps you just struck unlucky with the concentration this time OL? I've been using soapy water on my bronze fennel but I worry I'm in danger of drowning the poor thing those little buggers wont let go! (Started putting a plastic bag on the soil to protect it!)

    Incidentally my pear and apple tree are currently "moulting" (but look quite healthy) - I assume its normal for this time of the year? We've only had a few light frosts so I don't think it'll be that causing problems.

  • Magical MeerkatMagical Meerkat Posts: 241

    My pear has dropped all but one of it's fruits. I'm watching it carefully and hoping it stays..... I expect your pear is fine, just didn't like the cold winds and washing liquid combo as clarington says.

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICTPosts: 10,266

    Looking at the leaves again I think that the detergent was a bit too strong. You don't need to make it very strong at all, just enough to break the surface tension on the water droplets. This will "drown" the aphids by immersing them in water and leaving them   with no air to breathe. 

    The reason that the fennel is such a problem is that the feathery leaves break upthe soap  solution leaving bits untouched. If you have bronze fennel, as I have, you will know that it is almost impossible to kill and, if you have sparrows or blue tits in the garden (as I have) you will see them bouncing around in the leaves collecting the aphids for their little ones. So I'd not bother too much with artificial methods of removing aphids, I'd let the birdies do it for you. The fennel can take it!

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    image I'm rubbish image I am thinking though the fruit issue may be different and that may well be the wind, it has lost a lot but still a lot left.  My friend did comment last week what a lot of blossom flowers it had and I said at the time I doubt they will all fruit....maybe I was right and it just seems a lot because of the amount of blossom this year??

    Anyway, thanks everyone image

  • It might be some sort of fungus which can attack pear trees I had the same problem with pear tree last all the leaves and fruit turned black and dropped off when they were the size of thumb nail.


  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,892
    Pansyface - unfortunately despite my moving the fennel closer to the bird feeding station the birds are ignoring it! image
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