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Caca Cabeza

Curly leaf disease fix

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Gents, and Ladies,

I have two mature Bradford flowering pear trees in Northern CA (Sunset Zone 14). Moved into the house 2 years ago. Both summers, I have had some kind of curly leaf disorder, where the green leaves turn curly, red yellow and brown. A long time ago, I used some sort of systemic insecticide (fungicide?) to get rid of another pest on another kind of tree.

I know, super specific... What to use for funky leaves on Bradford flowering pear?

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Pear leaf blight hits my trees each year, some years more that other. San Mateo county hills. Edge of the fog line. 

If that’s what you have, only thing to do is prune off the infected branches. Do they turn black?

 

Pear Tree Leaf Blight. Often known as fire blightpear tree leaf blight is a highly destructive bacterial diseaseCurling pear tree leaves is only one sign. If your tree has fire blight, it may also display brown or black leaves, blooms with a water-soaked appearance, discolored bark and dead branches.

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They don't turn black, mainly red and yellow. The folks at the garden center said check an see next year. This is now two next years. The trees are about 20+ feet tall and mature.

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Bradford pears don't tend to be very long lived trees. They tend to self destruct before they get too big. They're usually used as street/sidewalk plantings because they don't ever get too big.

 Could be they're not getting enough water. Maybe too much (Often over watering looks like underwatering)..... Could be they're just getting old....

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8 minutes ago, Mrleft8 said:

Bradford pears don't tend to be very long lived trees. They tend to self destruct before they get too big. They're usually used as street/sidewalk plantings because they don't ever get too big.

 Could be they're not getting enough water. Maybe too much (Often over watering looks like underwatering)..... Could be they're just getting old....

Just like me...

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Yup.... Used to be when I fell, I bounced. I don't bounce any more. Now I snap like a dry twig.

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My “tree guy” is a degreed forestry professional. He told me that Bradford Pears are not native to this area (mid Atlantic)  and susceptible to fungus/disease and once they show brown/black curly leaves, they are done for.  He blames it on too much screwing around with the basic tree by the nursery industry to increase growth rate, maximise blooms, etc. YMMV. 

PO planted 4 about 9 years ago, just before selling the place.  I had the leaves turn black and die about 5 years ago. I keep hoping the other 3 will die.  

 

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they are brittle, don't live long, look great when flowering and in the fall when the leaves turn but do make excellent wood for the smoker when they outlive their usefulness.

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I've got three, and I've got the blight really good on one,  the other two are still doing OK, but they are competing for space with my neighbors october glory maple.  I want to take em all down.  but, shmbo won't let me.  none are in danger of hurting the home if they fall.  Maybe this year we'll get a good enough storm to at least take out the worst one.

not much you can really do about the blight.

 

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Could be mites, use a soap/oil type spray before the buds pop. Keep spraying the leaves under sides as the blooms and leaves emerge. Has worked for me on mites, if is something else, might not work as well. Soap/oil is not as harsh as a chemical insecticide.

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I have a pear tree that has several different pear cultivars on it. It gets leaf curl like crazy on all of the branches except the Asian pear - including the Bradford.

The solution is to spray the buds in the winter time with Daconil and again before the fruit forms in the spring. The leaf curl fungus is exacerbated by humidity and so the threat is pretty much over by May here in California, but if I don't hit it with the fungicide in the winter and spring, all the leaves are trashed and the fruit does not form. The tree is has been in our garden for 5 years now and was probably a few years old when we got it. It looks pretty sturdy to me and I'm looking forward to getting pears off it for many years to come. This fix is easy, cheap and works well.

One other tip - prune the tree so there's no central leader, but rather a "cup" shape with 4 to 6 side branches making the tree and a hole in the middle. That increases airflow, access to the fruit and keeps the height down so windstorms don't trash it. Trim off longer branches too, so you don't end up with big fruit that can't be supported by the tree structure - that also causes damage, cracked branches and so on. 

 

 

 

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Not sure if it’s the same disease but leaf curl fungus is real pain in the arse here. The fungus spreads by contact and it’s spore can live in the bark, but mostly in the leafs. As the flying Kiwi suggested copper spray before leaves develop in Spring is the only treatment. Plus you should collect and bag all infected leaves to stop it spreading. 

Instead of having a real or plastic Xmas tree we purchase & decorate a fruit tree before planting in the garden. This last year it was a Pink Lady Apple and the year before a Black Mulberry. I still have a little leaf curl in our peach tree, trying to kill it off and stop it spreading by picking infected leaves is  just an added chore along with picking up the dog turds before mowing. 

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