Q. My Kieffer pear, which set no fruit at all this year, got extremely chlorotic, from early April to now. I treated it about 9 days ago with Western Organics' Super Iron Chelate, per package instructions. I see noticeable improvement, but does it need a second application? If yes, at what interval? Does this condition have any relation to the lack of pears this year? Normally, this tree yields over a hundred pounds of fruit per season!
|Iron chlorosis on pear|
A. If it did not set fruit, did you see flowers? If you saw flowers but no fruit than it was a failure in pollination or a late freeze that took out any developing fruit when they were very young. If you saw no flowers then we must make sure that fruiting spurs, or short shoots, are present on the tree.
Make sure no one prunes off the short shoots or fruiting spurs of the pear. I attached a picture just to make sure we are talking about the same short shoots that bear flowers and fruit. Pear can also get into an alternate bearing cycle. This means that they can set fruit heavy one year and skip the next.
40 or 50 leaves are needed to support one fruit. After you have thinned the fruit from the tree, look at it again. If the fruit set is still a heavy load, remove even more fruit. By removing fruit in a heavy set year we can sometimes help shift it back to producing every year.
As far as the yellowing goes, if it is iron, the veins of the yellow leaves should be dark green while the spaces between the veins may be light green or even yellow in severe cases. In very severe cases the leaves will yellow and not have any green veins at all. In extremely severe cases the leaves may turn black and scorch.
I do not know this product and the quality of the iron chelate. If this chelate is not EDDHA then you run the risk that the iron it may not be very effective. Other chelates drop their iron if the soil pH is too high and then the iron does not make it inside the plant.
I would strongly suggest that you look at the ingredients and make sure the chelate is in fact EDDHA. If not, and the label permits, you can mix it with water and use it to spray the foliage or the leaves. If fruit is present you do run the risk of discoloring the fruit with the iron.
You can try adding this chelate with a dilute source of vinegar to try and push the pH lower bus making the iron available. This is a hit and miss approach. You are running out of time so I would put this on the soil as soon as possible. Make sure you apply this chelate in January or February of next year to avoid this problem.