Why Are the Leaves Turning Yellow on an Ornamental Pear Tree?

Written by dawn walls-thumma
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Changes in foliage colour can indicate a possible nutrient deficiency, cultural problems or pest problem in your tree. In other instances, colour changes occur because of normal seasonal variation.

Autumn Color

Pear trees (Pyrus species) are deciduous trees that lose their leaves in the winter to conserve water. Before the leaves fall, they can dramatically change colour. Your pear's leaves may change colour ranging from yellow to red.

Insect Pests

A few insect pests can cause foliage colour changes on pears. Pear psylla (Cacopsylla pyricola) suck sap from the tree, which can cause the leaves to turn yellow and drop from the tree. Leaves that turn a darker bronze colour may indicate an affliction with two-spotted or McDaniel spider mites. These tiny critters also feed on sap and, in large numbers, can cause foliage to discolour and fall from the tree.

Cultural Problems

Several other problems can cause foliage to turn yellow. Roots that are compacted, damaged or planted in poorly drained soil may lead to yellow foliage. Nutrient deficiencies, particularly iron deficiencies, can cause leaves to turn yellow. High soil pH can also cause iron to become unavailable. As the soil pH increases, chemical processes make it more difficult for plants to absorb iron into their roots.

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