Has anyone noticed that Pear rust seems to be getting worse each year? This is a fungal disease that works in tandem with junipers that are infected.
Has anyone developed an answer? Is there a good fungicide that you can apply in the Spring to the pear tree? Would it be possible to defoliate the tree after the fruit sets and then let new leaves develop after the danger of the spores from the juniper has gone? (Okay, probably a dumb idea....but I am brainstorming for anything).
Surely there are others out there who have seen how our poor pear trees are getting....the fruit is still good but it weakens the tree. I would like an answer.
I haven't seen the problem yet. My go to for fungal diseases is compost tea. Serenade also works. Good diverse orchard practices are also helpful.
In my drive between Alaska and Washington I had noticed the closer I got to southern BC the wild saskatoon bushes had much more fungal disease than in years past. Which is attributed to the wetter weather this year. Compare those BC areas as wild groves that I used to pick berries from, and for what locals have had to say concerning the wet, my only other comment is that our west coast saskatoons will be having inbred more resistance to these and that they won't be found here (knock on wood).
I agree with the compost tea and serenade, the latter of which is also from the ground (ie. microbial). There are classes of bacterials that can be found living on anything alive and inhabit a niche with plants. (ie. best to spray before the fungal infection starts)
Also best to administer the spray in a favorable temperature and something that allows a fast drying period because of the H2O that is conducive to the pesty fungals themselves.
The occurence of beneficial bacterial microbes are in the ground all the time and not in the upper phylosphere that get effected by the fungals, which means the niche is only a temporary niche. The spray schedules that will be useful for either compost tea or serenade can be found here.
Also consider the biodynamic horsetail tea preparation.
My Seckel pear tree is affected every year, so I posted a request for help a couple of years ago. John told me to use compost tea, and it did an amazing job. This is the link to that post:
This year was especially bad; many pears were deformed, and the leaves were covered with orange spots. I used three batches of compost tea instead of the normal two that had worked so well the previous two years. The tree managed to produce a decent light crop, even after pruning damaged pears and discarding them in the trash. There are still a few leaves with orange spots, which I pick off and throw in the trash. Overall the tree is a little worse for the wear this year (sparser leaves), but still healthy and seemingly thriving.
There is no doubt that the tree would be dead now, if not for compost tea. My dog is also happy that it's alive. Seckel pears seem to be his favorite fruit; every year he strips the bottom quarter bare, then stares longingly at the rest of the pears that are out of his reach. He loves to stand under this tree, out of all the other trees in the orchard.