Bradford Pear tree leaves turning black #457457 - Ask Extension


Bradford Pear tree leaves turning black #457457

Asked May 28, 2018, 12:21 PM EDT

My Bradford Pear tree has started to turn it leaves black. I have never had this happen before. What is causing this and is there something I can do to save the tree.?

Montgomery County Maryland

Expert Response

Your Bradford pear has a bad case of fireblight.  The recommended procedure is to prune out the dead tips now, then prune each infected branch again lower down when it is dormant in the winter:  

Obviously, that's not going to work well when a tree has such extensive infection.  

Bradford pears (and all the ornamental callery pear trees) are very problematic trees.  Usually the problem is that the branch structure is weak, and when it gets a nice mature size the branches start breaking off. (Yours has this typical branch structure.)
  It is also a foreign invasive tree, which has spread by the hundreds of thousands into park and wild areas of Maryland.  We don't recommend it anymore.

And now they tend to get more and more diseases. You might want to consider replacing it.


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