Pear Rust - A fungus of Pear Trees
and Juniper Bushes.
Pear Rust - a Fungus growth - can affect both Pear tree
leaves and also those of the Juniper family.
It is easily identified, though has to be 'looked for' during
the initial stages of infection, and is normally visible in late
July - but then decidedly more active in the months from August
through late September.
The normal leaf spotting that occurs with the onset of leaf
drop in the autumn should not be confused with Pear Rust.
first sign of Pear Tree Rust will be the small but very visible bright
orange spots - later enlarging - on the surface of the Pear Tree leaf. A
closer inspection will reveal typical rust fungal growths on the
underside of the leaves. These rust fungus spots house the spores which
are easily spread in the wind.
The Pear Rust infection will not kill your pear tree, for it only
lives on live tissue, and a dead tree serves no useful purpose to the
clever Rust Fungus. It will however weaken the tree for the current and
After having its feed upon your particular Pear Tree, the Fungus
Rust Fungus will move on via spore transportation - but this time to a
Juniper Tree or shrub. This is where it will spend a further year, and
then find another Pear tree for the following year. This clever swapping
of food supplies ensures a continuous supply of food material for the
rust. Not stupid!
The Pear Rust is visible on Juniper bushes by way of large orange
clusters of needles - almost deformed - rather than by the small spots
which are the hallmark of the beginning of Pear Rust on the Pear Tree
hosts. In the case of Juniper infection, it will be necessary to remove
complete branches to get at the diseased areas.
Treatment of Pear Trees affected by Pear Rust Fungus.
Physical Control of Pear Rust Fungus. The affected
leaves should be removed as soon as found. This should be done as
carefully as possible, bearing in mind that the released rust spores are
easily spread in the wind - over large distances. The earlier you can do
this will lessen this possibility. All removed material should be burnt,
and not put on a compost heap.
Together with this, the normal removal of diseased and dead wood by
pruning will help. It is suggested that all
growths are pruned out as well.
Chemical Control of Pear Rust Fungus. There seems to
be no chemical that has been developed (available to the amateur
gardener) that is specifically for the treatment of Pear Rust. However,
there are several chemical options - notably those chemicals that are
specifically for Pear Scab - that will effectively control the Rust
disease. 'Bayer Garden Systhane Fungus Fighter' is one such chemical and
freely available as is 'Westland Plant Rescue Fungus'.
It has been noted that where commercial growers of Pear Trees
regularly spray for Pear Scab, there is no incidence of Pear Rust.
By David Hughes -