Hardiness Zone: 5a
Alice from Prairie du Chien, Wisc
Are your pears splitting and rotting right on the tree? Do the fruits or leaves have velvety olive-brown spots on them? If so, your tree could be suffering from a disease called pear scab. With scab, as the pears mature the spots turn into "corky" lesions and the fruit usually cracks (or is malformed) and drops off the tree prematurely. Scab is a fungus that over-winters in leaves and twigs that have fallen from the tree. In the spring, the spores are carried by the wind to the newly developing fruit causing an infection. Once this infection occurs, a new "summer" spore is formed, which can last throughout the season and keep the annual cycle going. To control scab, you'll need to clean up leaf debris each spring and fall, and get on a schedule for spraying an organic fungicide. Before doing anything, I would get an expert out for an onsite opinion to confirm your tree's problem.
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