[NAFEX] Pear virus

Ed Fackler rocmdw at aye.net
Sat Nov 30 04:07:02 EST 2002


     The so-called Stony Pit virus is often confused with severe stink bug
damage or the symptoms are near the same.  And stink bug feeding is more
common that most folks realize, especially when there are indigenous legumes
(of any type nearby--borders, ground cover species, etc.).  Early season
(post bloom) damage is more severe (tender skins on fruit) with more intense
distortion of fruit shape/texture.
     Another possible cause is nutrition relating to ca., mg and other
possible elements.  Or as with various physical problems in apple (bitter
pit, related "spotting", internal breakdown, etc.), pears likewise can show
similar symptoms of fruit and related distorted development.  And lastly,
frost damage during the late bloom/early fruit development period can cause
fruit to be very malformed although this is generally more uniform or
similar in symtoms (russet rings and cracking).
      What I'm attempting to tell you is that your trees may not have this
virus.  Might want to get some tests done for the fine folks at the Sturgeon
Bay Research Station.  They can either do it or direct you to someone who

Ed, last few days in/near heaven and then off to another heaven in Beautiful
south central Ohio!!
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ray Kaminski" <rjkaminski at charter.net>
To: <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, November 29, 2002 9:57 PM
Subject: [NAFEX] Pear virus

> Located in North East Wisconsin zone 4-5.  About 15 years ago I planted  9
> various types of pear trees both standard and dwarf.  They were producing
> nice crops and one day a neighbor brought a friend over to get some scion
> wood from me.  Unknown to me, he had used his pruners on stock that was
> infected with stony pit virus. Stony Pit  deforms fruit and makes them
> cat-faced, crooked and they look like some one hit them with a baseball
> when they were small.  The fruit is not eatable as it is hard, gritty and
> solid rock in the deformity.  While pruning that year I advertently spread
> it to my entire pear tree crop.  The cure for that virus is to remove your
> trees!!!  That is one heart breaking job when you have had good success so
> far but I did it.
>      Replanted with new ones and most went into new ground although some
> went very close to the old locations (holes). Did research on what might
> cause etc. and found that virus is spread by grafting and pruning.
>    Bought new pruners, protective gloves and anything else that I thought
> might be helpful in stopping the spread of the virus.   I used 1 part
> bleach to two parts water along with a brass brush to clean any particles
> on the pruners and cleaned  meticulously after each tree.  You have to
> prune in order to keep the tress in good shape as well as any dead or
> branches, so not-pruning is not an option.  There are other orchards with
> this virus within a mile of mine.  Needless to say, it did show up on all
> the trees that bore this summer. One of the trees that is a beautiful
> is the Rescue  which has large rose colored fruit and about 80 per cent of
> the fruit was infected.  The Flemish Beauty had about 50 per cent infected
> and some varieties were 100 per cent infected.
>    Pears being one of my favorite fruits, I started 8 more trees about 500
> feet away from this patch this fall and will not prune  on these till they
> bear and see what results I have.
>    According to what I could learn  bees or root growth have not been
> to spread it and only by pruning or grafting.
>    Does anyone have any suggestions on containing this virus and also what
> is a fruit virus?  Could not find any info on it.
>    Started with 10 fruit trees and now up to 96, strictly as a hobby.
>    Each apple tree has 4 varieties on it, try to keep a branch going in
> each direction.  Never used tags on trees, only log it on paper, then put
> it in the computer and all records are easy to keep with all the pertinent
> info like type, date, year ,where from,  type of graft etc.  The best
> teacher probably is experience but  I wish someone would of told me long
> time ago to graft varieties together that blossom and are good
> companions.  Being in that golden age group am running out of time to be
> planting too many more.
> Due to hard spring frost this year the crop was light but fruit was bigger
> and when less on a tree it seems bigger, juicier and sweeter.
> Any comments, help, ideas of cure would be greatly appreciated.
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