I have three of same kind of Bradford pear trees: two are in excellent shape, but one barely puts out leaves and they turn brown. Is this tree lacking something?
The Gardener’s Answer
Jerry, hello again: The most common problem with these trees is more structural than insect or disease related. They are fast-growing trees and tend to be short-lived, usually due to splitting during wind/ice storms. Brown foliage can be a symptom of root injury or stress related to uneven moisture levels. Too much moisture or not enough have the same physical appearance. Fireblight can also be a problem with these ornamental pear trees. This is a bacterial disease that is more common during periods of high temperature and excessive rainfall. The foliage turns black on the new growth and does not drop. The best thing to do would be to take a sample to your County Extension Service for them to diagnose. That way you know what exactly you are dealing with and they will give you treatment options as well. The Christian County offices are located at 2850 Pembroke Road. The phone number is (270) 886-6328.