View Full Version : bradford pear trees - diseased?

01-21-2005, 02:49 PM
We have two Bradford Pear trees planted in 1995. They have been doing well up until this last summer and I noticed that suddenly their outer limbs began to droop and the leaves were withered.

Now that the leaves have all fallen all, it is even more apparet that the branches especially the outer ones are not growing upward as normal. There are many other similar trees in our neighborhood but none seem to have this problem other than ours.

Any ideas?

01-21-2005, 03:30 PM
It seems to me that the trees arent getting the proper nutrition. The cause could be unknown. Some fruit trees require a bit more attention than most others. One way of checking the nutrition of the tree would be to taste the fruit. If it is bitter that tells you lack of nutrition. Also check your yard for other spots of mal-nutrition. It could be something as small as a neighbor's weed killer. If you have any pictures at all please post them so I can better assist you. Or just specify the problem.

01-21-2005, 03:53 PM
Thanks for your quick reply. The trees that we have are ornamental and this time of year have berries about the size of cherries, but there's no seed.

We live northeast of Atlanta, Georgia about 35 miles.

We've never applied any fertilizer to the trees, nor have any of our other neighbors. The trees are about 30 feet tall by now, but are not as thick with branches as the other trees in neighboring yards.

You might be right about fertilizer because I'm sure they were planted in red Georgia clay and it might be that finally their roots can no longer spread.


01-24-2005, 11:32 AM
If the trees were root-bound or planted too deeply then you might have problems that cannot be fixed. Bradford pears are pretty tough and I can't imagine a bit of hard clay would slow them down any. You might try using a soaker hose on them if the soil is dry. Is the soil around the tree compacted from foot traffic?

01-24-2005, 11:42 AM
No, there's no foot traffic near them. We have had a sprinkler system for about 3 years so they've been getting plenty of water and the juniper planted around one as well as the perennials I've planted around the other are doing fine.

It's only the outer branches, which are the oldest. We could always prune those off. You're right - there are very hardy and that's why they're used all over the Atlanta area. Only problem is high winds which usually cause them to split. There were high winds this spring and 3 were lost in our vicinity, but that still leaves at least 50.

Thanks for your help. I think I'll wait to see what happens this spring. If the rest of the tree looks ok, we'll just prune off the lower round of branches and keep an eye on the water.

What do you think?