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Your Most Asked Tree Questions...

Why are my Pear Trees Leaves Brown?

September 9, 2016

Dear Arborist,

I have a flowering pear tree in my yard that a lot of brown leaves on it. I haven’t stopped watering it, what is going on? What can I do to help it?

- Browning in Citrus Heights

Dear Browning,

Looks like your ornamental pear tree has a bad case of fire blight! Fire blight is a bacterial disease that hit our region really hard last year, and we’re still seeing it now. All plants in the Rose family are susceptible (crabapple trees, pears, apples, etc.), and flowering pear trees have been especially affected here. The disease symptoms can look like the end of the branch was scorched and blackened which is how it got its name. Or, leaves can brown as the branch dies back and the brown, and dead leaves hang on the tree.

The disease starts at the tips of the branches – this is where the flowers bloom, and bees can spread the disease flower to flower, and tree to tree. Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy, effective cure for fire blight. The best treatment is to immediately prune out any infected portions as soon as you notice them. But be careful! You can also spread the disease on pruning tools, so make sure to clean your pruners with a 50-50 bleach-water solution in between each cut.

Hopefully in the future, the really prolific fire blight outbreak will lessen and our trees will stay green!

More information regarding fire blight!!