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Poorly pear tree!

Hi, we have an old pear tree in our garden and pruned a few over tall branches off the top of it last year.  This year, literally every single leaf has rust, the tree looks orange, a good talking point with neighbours!  Also, it started off with good blossom and fruits forming but every single fruit has dropped off, quite literally, it is barren!
Generally we get about 40 kilos of fruit each year.  
Does anyone have any ideas?


  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Scariff, County Clare, IrelandPosts: 7,629
    edited August 2021
    Do you have junipers growing in your garden, or nearby?  Pear rust needs to infect junipers when the pear tree has no leaves for it to live on.  (Edited to say: sorry, this isn't very clear... pear rust has two hosts, the pear tree in summer, and juniper in winter.)  It causes cankers on the juniper, which need to be cut out and destroyed - and very occasionally, cankers on the pear tree too.

    Regarding the fruit drop, I'd guess that the tree has been stressed in some way.  Without knowing the extent of your pruning, it's not possible to say if this has caused the stress - but knowing the weather we've had this year, I think lack of water or fluctuating temperatures are most likely.  A tree needs a huge amount of water to swell its fruit, and may abort them to protect itself if the soil is too dry.
    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
  • Doreen43Doreen43 Posts: 14
    Thanks for the info.  No Junipers nearby that I know of but that's not to say they don't exist!  It wasn't a huge prune, mainly a couple of branches shortened at the top of the tree as we couldn't get to them to pick fruit and one that was leaning on the roof of the greenhouse.  I originally put it down to the pruning but as you say it could be the weather too.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,366
    The juniper spores can travel up to about 1/2 mile and so can the spores released by pears in autumn.

    I have 5 varieties of pear. They all get rust, some just a tiny bit others a bit more, but nothing too drastic. It's a bit worse this year then usual I suppose thanks to the weird weather we're getting
    Generally picking up any dropped leaves will help a bit.

    You can't buy it anymore, but Bordeaux Mixture will prevent pear rust.
    There are recipes on the web and of course Amazon sell the ingredients.
    I've not made or used it since about the 1960's

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Doreen43Doreen43 Posts: 14
    Thanks Pete, the entire tree looks bright orange, we've never had rust this bad before!  Now I know it won't kill the tree I think it's a case of clearing leaves which are already dropping and hope for the best next year. Thanks for your advice.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,366
    A good mulch will help it stay healthy and give it a better chance of lessening the infection next year Doreen.
    I use my home-made compost (in autumn) or well rotted farm manure from a garden centre (jn spring) to mulch poorly shrubs and trees.
    Fingers X'd it won't be so bad next year :)
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Doreen43Doreen43 Posts: 14
    Thanks Pete, we use our own compost so that's an easy part solution.   Enjoy your weekend and thanks again for the advice. 
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