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Pear Rust survey

posted on April 5, 2011

Royal Horticultural Society
We have launched a new survey under our TreeWatch initiative in collaboration with the Royal Horticultural Society.

Stage 1 of the European pear rust

Stage 1 of the European pear rust

We are asking volunteers to help by adopting a Pear tree Pyrus communis and observing it regularly for the European Pear Rust Gymnosporangium sabinae.

The new survey has been added to our new look TreeWatch website, which was relaunched last week.  The survey will be promoted by the RHS to their members. Sylva and the RHS will be working closely together to analyse the data.

If you have a pear tree in your garden or nearby park, why not adopt it on TreeWatch and take part in the survey.

Have you adopted your tree yet?


  1. My sister lives in Harrow Middx. and has a small, young pear tree which had pear rust in 2010. I took pictures of the leaves and they came out very well. Especially the underside with the amazing galls on them. I can send copies to you if you would like them.

    Regards. Will Agnew

    Comment by W. Agnew — May 8, 2011 @ 11:41 am

  2. Have a very old pear tree (variety unknown) which bears vast crops of huge, delicious pears (some weighing over 500gms). It developed pear rust 2 years ago, badly, and the fruit was affected so much that it was hardly edible. Last year there was far less rust and the fruit was less afected.

    Comment by Ann Crook — May 8, 2011 @ 4:04 pm

  3. I live in Enfield, North London. I have an old pear tree which produces huge pears and which has been affected by pear rust from 2008. The rust is geting progressively worse year on year, the fruit becoming hard and inedible. the annual crop also seems to be smaller.

    Comment by J.Bernasinski — May 8, 2011 @ 7:49 pm

  4. We have a Conference pear tree approx,70 years old, sited SE.London . It developed Rust 3 to 4 years ago ,as did our neighbours tree, It affected the crop,both in quality and quantity. frequently deformed and very small.This year there was plenty of blossom and now there are many obvious fruits. No obvious signs of any attack at the moment

    Comment by Ruth P Fletcher — May 9, 2011 @ 9:34 am

  5. We have a 2 year old pear tree planted in a barrel. It hasn’t had fruit yet and, this year, every leaf is affected by rust. There was no sign of rust last year.

    Comment by Mike King — May 11, 2011 @ 10:28 pm

  6. We have a two year old pear tree planted in a barrel. The tree hasn’t had fruit yet but was perfectly healthy last year. This year, every leaf is affected by rust.

    Comment by Mike King — May 11, 2011 @ 10:30 pm

  7. Mike – thanks for both your comments regarding your pear tree. Sorry to hear that it has pear rust this year. I hope that you sign up to TreeWatch if you haven’t already done so, where you can map the location of the tree and help scientists understand more about the spread and ecology of this pathogen. Visit: http://www.TreeWatch.com
    TreeWatch Team

    Comment by Sylva Foundation — May 11, 2011 @ 10:41 pm

  8. I bought Conference pear tree last year Developed rust as soon as it leaved up, no fruit,sprayed when dormant but rust appeared on every leaf this year, hardly any blossom and no sign of fruit( I live in south Somerset )

    Comment by Mrs Anne Bates — May 16, 2011 @ 1:34 pm

  9. We have a conference pear tree which has suffered from pear rust for the last 5 years though it was only last year that we discovered what it was! I pruned it severely last year and collected all the leaves up to dispose of in an attempt to rid it of rust and await now to see if this works!
    At the moment the tree is blooming and full of pears hopefully they will survive the June drop! I am watering it daily and watching for the first signs of rust as these do not normally appear until July
    Aug each year. Does anyone know how to control pear rust? I have had various suggestions like watering it with diluted Jeyes Fluid or spraying with Bayer Fruit&Veg Disease Control but don’t know at what point to apply these sort of things!? Any ideas very welcome.

    Comment by Sylvia Dinham — May 17, 2011 @ 4:57 pm

  10. Sylvia – If you are looking for information on how to control this disease it would be worth looking at the following RHS webpage http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/profile.aspx?pid=236. There is a spray labelled specifically for pear rust, but cultural controls are equally important.

    Comment by G Denton — May 20, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

  11. I bought a Pyrus calleryana from a nursery near RHS Wisley last year which showed significant pear rust later in the year. I just wish I had not also bought some young junipers for the garden, hopefully they will not cross-infect.

    Comment by N Scott — April 26, 2012 @ 3:34 pm

  12. That’s worrying, as you say. I hope that you registered the incidence of pear rust on our TreeWatch survey? Do keep an eye on your junipers too.

    Comment by Sylva Foundation — April 26, 2012 @ 3:40 pm

  13. I have a 2 year old Conference Pear with no flowers as yet.Last year there was no sign of rust but this year almost every leaf has signs of it. I live in Sunbury-on-Thames.

    Comment by Sue Keeler — August 6, 2012 @ 4:36 pm

  14. 16/10/2012
    I am not sure if it’s too late to join this survey. This problem cropped up recently at our Harrow U3A garden group. I recently planted a dwarf conference pear tree and about a third of its leaves have been infected. There are still plenty of leaves on the tree.

    Comment by Pat McGuchan — October 16, 2012 @ 12:58 pm

  15. Thanks for your interest. No, it’s not too late if you can back date your observations as far back as you can remember. Welcome to TreeWatch.

    Comment by Sylva Foundation — October 16, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

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