Q How do I recognise stony pit virus in pears?
A Fruits affected by the stony pit virus are generally restricted to just a single branch. They appear normal to start with, but soon begin to develop sunken or pitted areas on the skin. The flesh within is full of patches of dead 'stone cells' and the fruits are really unpleasant to eat.
Caption: Pear affected by stony pit virus are best thrown away
Q How can I help pears affected by stony pit virus?
A Keeping the tree well fed, mulched and watered may decrease the likelihood of further symptoms appearing. This is because plants that are harbouring viruses, even if they’re not yet showing any signs of disease, are more likely to develop symptoms when they are suffering from any form of stress.
Q How can I prevent stony pit virus in the future?
A There is not a great deal known about this disease, but it is thought that the main means of transmission is by grafting. To avoid spreading the disease further, avoid using any pruning tools that might be contaminated. Some cultivars, such as 'Doyenne du Comice' appear to be particularly susceptible to stony pit virus.