I planted some pear seedlings this winter. They're now in leaf and some of the leaves are not looking so good. Does anyone know what this is and how to fight it?

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  • Looks as if you've got a couple of problems happening. Is this little tree in a pot? In potting soil? I am guessing the reason you have that chicken wire is to protect this plant from rabbits? Perhaps, deer? I can see those marks but the last picture looks like a virus problem. Pretty common with Pyrus. Not a deal breaker but we need to know much more; is it in the garden or is this in a pot? What soil did you use. If in the garden, did you plant this little guy where OTHER pears lived and died? not a deal breaker, but a great observation to research and figure out...
    – stormy
    Commented Apr 28, 2018 at 2:05
  • No, it's not in a pot-it's in a field, in terra rossa, with a 40 gallon drum over it and the chicken wire over the drum to protect from deer.
    – Boris K
    Commented Apr 28, 2018 at 20:32
  • Wow, that is serious dedication, Boris! Do you have a Cooperative Extension Service branch near you in Terra Rossa? Not sure where you live but Universities usually have this service, free or very very inexpensive. They sometimes even go to your home, they know the soils, the flora and fauna of your area. This looks viral to me. Or a bud infected as the leaves below look healthy, yes? I see bits of gnawing and even burn, possibly the chicken wire heating up? Do all of your baby trees show these symptoms? Please, more information...locality, soils, connection of trunk to soil?
    – stormy
    Commented Apr 28, 2018 at 22:41
  • I mean that the soil type is terra rossa. The tree is in Israel, on the descent to the Jordan River Valley, about 650 meters above sea level. Soil is limestone base with red dirt. Most of the pears show these symptoms, the plums and figs do not. Connection of trunk to soil-we dug the root ball in more or less flush to the soil this winter.
    – Boris K
    Commented Apr 29, 2018 at 18:25

1 Answer 1


This will not be easy but with your help we might get close. I shall begin with Fireblight. This is caused by a bacterium, not virus. Fungus and bacteria diseases are rampant with Pear, not so much virus.

fireblight of pyrus

Do you remember the variety of your trees? Were there any labels saying your trees are resistant to such and such? Have you fertilized at all? You did well if you planted 'flush' to the ground talking about your root ball...good word to describe; keeping the top of the root ball flush to the surface so no soil touches the bark of the trunk.

Your plum trees are also susceptible to this disease but pear is highly susceptible...I am only 50/50 about this diagnosis, but because fireblight is so common I thought I'd start with this one. Notice the symptom of OOZING blisters. Your trees are young and might not be showing any blisters.

Don't touch your trees too much. That will spread disease as well. When we get to the pruning part you will have to always clean your tools with alcohol before working on another plant/tree.

Have you ever fertilized? What is the variety of pear?

Keeping your trees healthy is the best preventative measure. That would mean a balanced fertilizer. Not too much but a balanced fertilizer would give your plants a chance to fight off the infection by themselves or even resist infections. Pulling these trees might be the only answer, depending on what we discover. Ugh. This is just the first answer and there will be others. We have some Orchard specialists that should be piping up, let us wait until they have given their answers, okay? I chose this disease because it is very common with Pear and I am able to see healthy leaves and growth in one of your pictures. Fireblight looks like parts of a plant were torched...at first.

Erwinia amylovora

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