Several small pear branches are dying.

(Question)

I have a mature pear tree (Anjou) with trellis rust. Additionally, there are several – at least 18 – small 14 inches branches that died. These small branches are occurring throughout the tree although none of the main branches on which the dead branches occur seem effected. What is the cause and can the problem be mitigated? Thanks!

(Answer)

The problem that you describe could be the pear trellis rust causing the tree to lose its vigour as the disease progresses. I’m sure you are aware that there is very little that can be done in Toronto to stop this disease. If you need more information on this please refer to a previous post on our website about this problem.

Pear trees are also susceptible to a bacterial disease called fire blight. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture  has an excellent website with pictures and suggestions for how to manage the disease. It is very important that you follow the recommendations of how to sterilize your pruning tools during the pruning process.

As you can tell, both of these diseases have no cures and in the city as opposed to a farm orchard, are difficult for the homeowner to manage. You might consider speaking with a qualified arborist to confirm this since it is difficult to diagnose diseases without actually seeing the tree.