I planted some pear trees a little over a year ago, and they seems to be doing well.
One of the trees is an asian pear, and it has by far the most fruit on it. (A bonus, since I wasn't expecting any fruit this year.) However, I noticed on this plant there are some little brownish yellow spots on most of the leaves. I looked it up and thought it might be the begginning of pear "rust" but I found some articles that made me think that didn't happen around here...
Does anyone know what these spots are? Should I be worried? One reference said to remove the affected leaves, but that would be all of them! I'm a little puzzled because this is by far my heathiest tree overall. The spots are so far very small, but I want to nip it in the bud before it gets bad.
I really haven't done much, except water, mulch, and some light pruning. Are there other things I should be doing to take care of them?
Yes. You should be familiarizing yourself with the services of the local Cornell Cooperative Extension. That way, when you have a suspected disease, you can arrange to bring a sample of the affected plant to their offices, and get an authoritative diagnosis from people who are actually good at this stuff, rather than opinions from other novices or guesswork from books. This also helps the community, as the extension personnel will learn quickly if and when a particular disease or pest is present in the county. The service is generally free or very low cost, depending on the county.
If you are interested in using organic control methods only, just tell them that up front. They will give you the organic protocol to follow for handling the situation.
I wouldnt worry too much about it yet. if the leaves start withering it might be signifigant, but all trees host a bit of fungus. And this would be the year for it, I am expecting problems with brown rot on my plums. I try to spray with wettable mineral sulfur every couple of weeks, I should actually start it before blossoming.
You might want to thin out the fruit, esp. if its a young tree, so it can put energy into growing.
I'm also new to growing pear trees. I don't use chemicals so am reconciled to taking a "watch and wait" approach. However, I've recently tried making a garlic spray and selectively using it to protect fruit on various trees. (There are "recipes" for this online.) The only concern is that garlic spray will deter both beneficial and non-beneficial insects, so use sparingly. Another approach I'm taking this year is to not mow the orchard, except for paths. I'm hoping this will allow the various bugs to "duke it out" and keep each other in check.