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Pear Trellis Rust: A Damaging Pathogen To A Common Tree

April 7th, 2020 Tree Health,Tree Service



The white flowers of ornamental pear trees are one of the unmistakable signs of spring. Ornamental pear trees are often found in our area due in large part to their spring flowers and fall color. However, in the last few years, many pear trees have been damaged by a fungal pathogen called pear trellis rust. Thankfully, Willow Tree Service offers treatments that help to control this damaging fungus.

Orange Spots on Leaves and Loss of Leaves are the Two Most Obvious Symptoms of Pear Trellis Rust

Our clients usually first notice a problem when their pear trees start dropping leaves in the middle of the year. Upon closer inspection, they notice red, orange, and yellow spots on the leaves. The pathogen can also cause fruit and twigs to be damaged and fall. Sometimes the amount of defoliation can be quite significant. The tree can usually recover from this first attack, but frequent attacks can weaken the tree over time.

Treatments and Cultural Practices Can Help Control and Minimize Pear Trellis Rust Damage

Fungicide sprays and systemic trunk injections are the two main ways Willow Tree Service treats for this fungal disease. A series of sprays in spring as leaves emerge help control the disease, while a systemic injection in early fall can help provide additional support for the following spring.

In addition to treatments, there are a couple of other things homeowners can do to help minimize the damage.

  1. Remove all infected leaves, fruit, and twigs from the property. The spores for the disease are found in this debris, so removing them helps prevent additional infection.
  2. Remove or do not plant juniper trees and bushes. Pear trellis rust needs junipers as a second host to complete its life cycle. Unfortunately, junipers are very common throughout the landscape and the spores can travel from neighboring properties, but we have had clients who were able to control the disease by removing the alternate juniper host.

Call Willow Tree Service for you FREE Evaluation

One of our ISA certified arborists would be happy to walk your property and examine the health of your pear trees, as well as the rest of the trees and shrubs on your property. If you are unsure of whether you have this fungal problem, the best time to have us check your trees is after they have leafed out to see if we can see any sign of the telltale rust circles on the leaves.

Click here to get your free tree evaluation from Willow Tree and Landscape Services.

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What They're Saying

I'll admit it, I was very scared about having our maple tree, that was easily over 100 years old removed. I love trees and we waited seven years until it was obvious it had to come down. Willow was up for the task with the largest crane I've ever seen in my life. Yes, a "serious" pruning of our Magnolia tree was required, but that was the only way they were able to have the crane go up and over our garage.

Shawn saw my sadness about the Magnolia and explained to me that within five years I probably won't even notice it.

Less than a week later they came back today and ground the stump for us. Once again I hid because this massive machine was only several feet away from our glass patio doors. The crew was meticulous in placing up wood boards to safely protect our home. And both times they cleaned up the area to perfection.

Thank you to both amazing crews, to the owner who came out himself to assess the job and provide the estimate, and to his lovely daughter in the office who is always so nice on the phone!

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Harriet S.