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Apple/Pear tree problem

Last post 29-10-2008 10:04 PM by bogweevil. 11 replies.

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  • 19/09/2008 11:09 PM
    • MC
    • UK
    • 19 Sep 2008
    • 263
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    I'm a new gardener who inherited a VERY mature garden when I moved house and I'm stumbling along trying to get to grips with it! My apple and pear trees which were ok last year and produced enough fruit for chutneys, this year seem to be affected by something which is giving them bright orange spots on their leaves. I've noticed that it seems to have spread across the garden to fruit trees in different areas and I have no pears at all that I can see this year and the apples don't look too healthy (mainly scarred). The two main trees are very well established growing in (overgrown) grass and are fairly large (both the apple and pear have become intertwined) while there are also one or two younger trees affected in a separate part of the garden. I'm really an amateur at this and would love some help as it's breaking my heart not to get any usable fruit as I'm a keen cook!

    Also (I said I was no expert!), last year I had plums growing but this year I can't see any. I haven't done any pruning at all since last year - could this be why there is no fruit?

     I'd appreciate any help out there!

  • 20/09/2008 10:34 AM
    • Beebee
    • Warwickshire
    • 29 Jan 2008
    • 191
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    This sounds like Pear Leaf blister mite which I also get on my pear tree.  Look under the leaf at the site of the spots and you'll see brown 'lumps'.  Insecticides are not effective;  pick off and burn all affected leaves.

  • 20/09/2008 11:07 AM
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    I expect the yellow spots are in fact confined to the pear trees and have a swollen outgrowth on the back indicating pear rust. Until recently this was uncommon but for reasons unknown is now widely distributed. Unless your trees are small enough to spray for scab, which will give incidental control of the rust, you will have to put up with the rust - it seldom causes deep harm and your lack of fruit is due to other causes the reasons for which cannot be fathomed from the limited information you have supplied. You might wish to post some pics of your trees and the fullest details of soil, site and whatever pruning regime you have inflicted on your trees. Lack of plums is due to poor weather at flowering time in 2008 - plums need very little pruning. Boggy

    Beware the bat-eared bogweevil
  • 20/09/2008 02:46 PM
    • MC
    • UK
    • 19 Sep 2008
    • 263
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    Many thanks for the replies! I will try to take some photos at some point while the weather is still nice to see if that helps to narrow down the possibilities. 

  • 20/09/2008 04:41 PM
    • Susiq
    • Northumberland
    • 16 Feb 2008
    • 3,126
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    Hi, I have recently been give some advice for the very same question that you have posed, I notice you say there is overgrown grass around the base of the trees. The advice I was given, was to completely clear the grass/weeds etc in a circle around the base of the tree of about 3 to four feet, depending on the size of the tree, give the soil in the cleared space a feed of fish blood and bonemeal, then cover with a good mulch of tree bark. If the tree is overgrown, you also need to prune it - there is advice on the RHS site re pruning so as not to let the tree go into shock.

  • 22/09/2008 08:00 AM
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    As the trees are over large it would be unwise to remove grass as this would just make them grow bigger and faster and be even less fruitful.

     

    Boggy 

     

    Beware the bat-eared bogweevil
  • 26/09/2008 10:38 AM
    • MC
    • UK
    • 19 Sep 2008
    • 263
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    I'll take all this on board. I've also been told that my lack of pruning last year will have affected the amount and quality of the fruit this year so I need to get onto doing that!

  • 26/09/2008 11:54 AM
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    You have been misinformed - trees have a natural propensity to fruit and flower and skilled pruning can enhance that but unskilled pruning can easily destroy this propensity.

     Boggy

    Beware the bat-eared bogweevil
  • 26/09/2008 11:54 PM
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    if you have pear rust (which has been especially bad this year) you may have a juniper tree in the vicinity. this acts as the first host for the fungus. if the juniper is in your garden you may choose to remove it but if it's in a neighbouring garden there's nothing you can do but live with it. keep the tree healthy by feeding it fish blood and bone in spring and potash in summer. pear fruits are not affected by rust. burn or bin all the leaves.

  • 27/09/2008 10:02 AM
    • James1664
    • UK
    • 28 Aug 2008
    • 82
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    Try to get some prof advice on pruning.  Its good fun when you know how and very satisfying.  We used to prune about 20 acres of fruit trees by hand in the winter time and I loved it.  It was very rewarding when you got a bumper crop the next year.  Try contacting RHS Wisley and ask for an advice sheet.  I think the prune their fruit trees each year.  I was walking through their orchards last weekend and the amount of fruit was sensational.

    Roll on the weekend!
  • 29/10/2008 12:24 PM
    • MC
    • UK
    • 19 Sep 2008
    • 263
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    Wow - it's so much to take in! I do indeed have a juniper in the garden which would explain the pear rust. I'll do some research into pruning before I go at the tree with my garden tools.... The weather has flummoxed me for the time being as when I get a chance to go in the garden, it's either chucking it down with rain or is so windy that it's impossible to get the leaves to behave themselves long enough to put them into the bin!! In just one afternoon, all the quinces were on the floor following the tree's battering from the wind! 

  • 29/10/2008 10:04 PM
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    Junipers only infect pear trees if they themselves carry the fungus - this is easy to see as the infected shoots take on a deeply monstrous appearance. Boggy

    Beware the bat-eared bogweevil