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Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

Posted by microbiomom (My Page) on
Fri, Feb 12, 10 at 7:10

Hey
I am new to pear and apple tree culture. I just planted two Asian pears and read that a better, stronger tree will result from weighing down or pegging branches that tend to grow more vertically in a young tree. Which is better? What do I use to weigh the branches down and how much weight? Do I go to horizontal or nearly horizontal? I guess what angle?
Do I need to do anything like this to the apple trees (Anna and Dorsett) that have four branches and look pretty open?
Thanks for advice. I hope this doesn't sound too stupid.
cd


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

cd: Very good questions! You are on the right track. All the trees you mention will set more fruit than you probably can imagine right now. Get ready to thin a lot.

But if you want better crotch angles and tree form, then you may want to tie some branches into the correct position. Tie them off to something solid on the ground without girdling the limb. Weighting them down with something that hangs from the tree is not workable in my opinion. And it may well break out the limb. Even tying to the ground be careful not to break something.

I usually go to about 30 degrees above horizontal. But am thinking of trying one tree at horizontal this year to see what happens.

If your apples seem pretty open they will probably be fine as is. Those varieties are known for high, early production.

Again thinning is really essential especially on young trees.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

Hi cd-
If your trees already have existing branches, then yes, especially with pears, you need to bring the branches down/out to open up the tree. For existing branches, I would do exactly what Fruitnut says. (Though, limb spreaders are another option)

But, if you planted a bare-root tree with few branches, then I find the job is easier than this. Just use the wooden spring clothespins as very small weights. You make little delicate corrections when the branch is very very small (maybe when it's only 2" long), and then you wont have the larger corrections later. In this manner, I find it extremely easy to get even perfectly horizontal branches, even on the stubborn pears. (Note: I agree with Fruitnut that you want 30 degrees above horizontal. But in my case, I'm training a Korean Giant Asian pear to an open vase shape, which people had said would be very tough with a KG-AP. My perfectly horizontal branches are just temporary branches until/below the vase is formed.)

I don't claim to be an expert, and I don't see a lot of the pro's here using clothespins in this way, but it's been working for great for me for the last 5 years or so. The only downside is that it does require a checking on the little branches every couple of days... Otherwise you could wind up with a weeping pear tree... I wonder if anyone has ever managed to do that. :-)

-Glenn


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

Kieffers kind of weep naturally. But I suppose that is more the outer extent of the branches, not close in to the trunk.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

micro,

This is a photo of my Orcas pear. I did the rope and stake method. On a young tree you can also use spreaders, a stick with notches on both ends. Its like the clothes pin idea.

Photobucket

I'll go out and take a dormant photo, it will be more clear.

Eric


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

I'm constantly spreading branches as I prune. For young trees I like Treform metal spreaders. As trees get older and I want to de-energize branches in the upper tier I'll often use tape and create a festoon (weep) to stick quick flower buds on those upper branches- at least with vigorous varieties. I tape to a lower piece of wood.

Weighting braches is risky but when I'm dealing with giant apple trees it is sometimes the only option and you can make it work. Not too heavy and not too light!

Generally, in training young trees, it isn't wise to spread branches to 90 degrees except for an espalier. With the first crop of fruit unsupported branches at this angle will bend too low. I shoot for about 65 degrees.

As soon as you spread a branch you reduce its vigor, which can be good or bad. If I'm training a branch, I sometimes wait to spread it if I want to size it up as fast as possible. It can be an art to choose the right time to spread and if you wait too long you have to saw a hinge into the branch to spread it without breaking.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

Dormant Orcas pear

Photobucket

My two asian pears

Shenseiki and Korean Giant (Dan Bae)
Photobucket

Photobucket

Pruning and fruit load can guide the branches into fruiting position.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

Nice pics amd spreading. To what height are they and on what rootstock?


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

cebury,

Shenseiki about 9Ft on OHxF planted 1993

Korean Giant about 9ft on OHxF planted 1993

Orcas pear about 10ft on OHxF planted 1991

Raintree Nursery

Eric


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

I'm not an expert on fruit trees and especially pears but with most my pear trees i tie the branches at a 75 degree angle. I just use 1 foot wooden stakes. Then drill a wide enough whole for some twin. Pound the stake in at least halfway or so, just so its tight enough. Then on the tree limb lay a piece of rubber (I use pieces of old bike tires) and double to twin up and fold it over whichever branch you want to pull down. Don't wrap the twin around the whole branch though! This is unhealthy and it similar to wrapping string around your finger. It will cut off circulation. FInally pull both ends of the twine through the whole, sinch in enough to the angle you want and then wrap it a couple times on the stake, tie it off and voila. It's a great way to train branches and form the shapes you want.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

To my eye, photo trees were spread too late to get a really good crotch angle, which look to be about 45 degrees. It may have also been the result of tying down from too far up on the branches. Spreaders to a better job with crotches than string.

On Asians this is OK because all they want to do is make fruit and pear branches are strong even with narrow crotches. However if the scaffolds of the first tier are about the same angle it is easier to maintain a well proportioned tree. My eye likes symetry and it is the most effiecient use of space, usually.

Also, I spread upper tier branches wider than lower tiers to try to make them less vigorous.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

harvestman,

All three trees have been very productive. The angle of attachment could have / should have been wider, but no troubles so far.

Photobucket
Selling for about $1.00 ea at the Farmers Market.
Eric


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

I'm sorry, I wasn't meaning to knock your beautiful trees, only using them as a suggestion for how to spread for crotch angle in general.

Asian pears are so precoscious that the only real reason for spreading them is to make a more spreading tree instead of the narrow upright they're likely to become and you've succeeded at that.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

harvestman,

No offense taken. I was trying to agree with you. I cut them back hard every year. Mostly to keep the height down and try for balance as well.

Eric


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

  • Posted by murky z8f pnw Portlan (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 14, 10 at 11:53

Eric, that last picture is awesome, especially with the caption.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

murky,

Thank you. I wish it was a little more in focus. I'll try again in September.

Eric


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

  • Posted by brandon7 6b (like 7b now) TN (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 14, 10 at 16:12

I think most everyone here already knows this, but just in case someone unfamiliar with the subject is reviewing this thread, the crotch angle is the angle between the branch and trunk at the point of attachment, not the angle formed by the overall branch and trunk. Wide crotch angles are necessary for stronger branch attachment.
-----------------------
As much as it will bother Harvestman (too late to change your mind now buddy), I will have to agree with him about Treefrom (note two ee's) metal branch spreaders. I use that brand exclusively and have had very good results.

Here is a link that might be useful: Treeform


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

brandon7,

Maybe,Yes and Yes. Never used "Treeform" spreaders, but I like.

I've see this flaming in other post, what up between you two??

Eric


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

  • Posted by brandon7 6b (like 7b now) TN (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 14, 10 at 18:03

LOL. We both take the discussions too seriously, I guess. And, Harvestman loves to be the antagonist. I guess it's his way of saying, "consider this". We agree (probably) far more often than we disagree, actually. But the discussion is not as lively when everyone agrees. (-;


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

brandon7,

I think a little poke here and a little nudge there is all in good fun. Over in the Farmers Market Forum I was torched. Posted a topic that was a little to sensitive.
You move on to post another day.

Eric


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

  • Posted by olpea zone 6 KS (My Page) on
    Mon, Feb 15, 10 at 13:19

Hman,

I've never heard of your "hinge" idea on spreading larger branches. Sounds clever. I assume you cut a "notch" out of the bottom of the scaffold, then pull the scaffold down to the desired angle and the notch closes up with the wound eventually healing over. Is that what you're doing?


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

You cut about a third into the branch on the side of the direction you're pulling it (obviously, otherwise you'd snap the branch). It probably will take at least 3 cuts about an inch apart starting at the base of the branch you're spreading.

I only use this method on apples and pears as they heal quite well. I've often used it to correct trees mispruned several years back. Once in a rare while I snap one although I haven't for a few years.

As far as the controversy I have with Bran7, way I see it, he usually runs pretty strong for scientifically established info while I like to take that and blend it with my anecdotal observations. When these observations clash with what B7 considers established scientific fact our dialogues can get heated. Generally this kind of thing is one of the reasons I participate on a forum like this. I enjoy a good debate and often learn a thing or 2- especially when someone like Brandon can show me something I don't know.

And I'm not the least bit surprised, Brandon, that you like the same spreaders I do. Whose your source?- mine is starting to p. me off.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

  • Posted by brandon7 6b (like 7b now) TN (My Page) on
    Mon, Feb 15, 10 at 19:18

Harvestman,

Concerning the hinge technique, do you make the first cut just beyond the branch collar? Is the objective mostly to improve future structural integrity of the branch union (I'm guessing not), mostly to improve overall tree structure, to influence fruiting, or some combination of these?

I got my spreaders from Peach Tree Orchard Supply. I only made one large purchase, so I haven't had a lot of interaction with them. They did great on the one order I placed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Treeform Suppliers


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

  • Posted by olpea zone 6 KS (My Page) on
    Mon, Feb 15, 10 at 21:29

Thanks Hman,

I can see taking out 3 separate saw widths would remove enough wood to allow the branch to bend. Thanks for the tip.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

The situation that motivates me to save oversized branches that are competing with the central leader is generally when such branches comprise most of a bearing age tree and it would be a waste to rebuild the entire structure just to fulfill my idea of "the perfect tree".

By spreading such branches, which can be of equal diameter as the "leader" (in quotation marks because leadership in these cases usually isnt clearly established) they become less vigorous and the "leader" can become the leader.

I have done this for trees that were originally pruned to be an open center, but with an excess of scaffolds, and also trees that have a very aggressive upward growth habit like Northern Spy. It's not something I have to do for trees I've trained from the beginning. Nothing I do is more satisfying than transforming a misguided mess into a well balanced and productive tree. That's not to say that such a tree must be a central leader, however.

Brandon, yes, I start at the branches orgin and sometimes have to make as many as 7 or 8 cuts to get the branch to flex adequately. It makes a pretty ugly wound that heals nicely, probably making the branch stronger than if it had been spread properly in the first place.

Thanks for the link and source.


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RE: spreaders

I should mention that spreading heavy branches that require a hinge can't be accomplished with Treeform spreaders- nail tipped rigid wood spreaders are required for their strength. Treeform spreaders aren't strong enough.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

Hman, Those spreaders look a lot like the ones I bought from Boyers last year. Not sure they are treeform brand but they look the same from the pics I see. I used those on some peach trees last year and decided I dont like them for that. They make a small wound that the sap likes to seep out of.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

I used to be reluctant to use spreaders for stone fruit but finally realized that a little injury is a small price to pay for a well angled branch. I don't need spreaders for peaches though. I think they are best trained by eliminating over-sized branches, which are branches more than half the diameter of the trunk at the point of attachment to the trunk. Smaller diametered branches usually have a good angle and if not there's always one nearby that does. They bear so young that spreading is achieved by the weight of the fruit- often too much so.

I also believe that it is very wise to start peaches off as a central leader and if you want, change them over to open center after 2 or 3 years. It makes for a stronger tree.

For certain very upright European plums, spreaders are invaluable.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

I feel this should be referred to "Why don't people want to develop orchards or grow fruit trees?"
Bottom line is with new trees develop about a 65 degree angle on the bottom branches (not the upper angle, but the lower angle of the crotch using extenders, clothes pens (as the branch dictates),or extending using twine and stakes? Upper branches can have a more acute angle and this can be forgiven because fruiting will cause the branches to open more?
Do I just need to go to the books?
thanks
cd


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

  • Posted by brandon7 6b (like 7b now) TN (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 16, 10 at 21:54

CD,
I read through your last post three times, but I still don't understand what you are saying or asking. If no one answers before you read this, can you restate what you said/asked?


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

***I feel this should be referred to "Why don't people want to develop orchards or grow fruit trees?"**
To this I say, WHAT?

****Bottom line is with new trees, develop about a 65 degree angle on the bottom branches, (not the upper angle, but the lower angle of the crotch using extenders, clothes pens (as the branch dictates),or extending using twine and stakes?****

Yes

***Upper branches can have a more acute angle and this can be forgiven because fruiting will cause the branches to open more?***

Not sure if I agree with this statement. I do believe fruit load will bring the branches into more productive angle. May not correct the angle of attachment.

Eric


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

Thank you. About 65 degrees on all branches? There are about 6-7 branches per tree and approx 6-8 in long, maybe 0.5 in diameter at the point of attachment on the lower ones- smaller diameter going up the central leader. I tried a couple of clothes pins which seemed to spread a bit. This seems to be a long process.
Does the staking stay in place for an entire growing season?
Do I change the positions of the twine and stake as the limb grows during the season or does this training go on just last year's growth.
Maybe I can to do this.
Thanks
cd


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

In a pyramid or Xmas tree shape the upper scaffolds are recycled on a regular basis as their diameter excedes a managable size- something you may have a hard time finding in the lit, but try and manage such a tree for more than a few years and you'll find the greater access to sun (and therefore sap as well, both by transpirational cappilary pull and the ever larger diameter) gives top branches a vigor edge beyond the control of the pruner. Even espaliers must periodically be rebuilt.

A wider angle, even below horizontal, takes some of this excess vigor out of the equation and allows upper scaffold branches a longer life.

This info may make an open center tree seem more attractive to the non-expert fruit grower who usually receives advice devised for commercial fruit production and most efficient use of space. Then the experts found out their strategies were too expensive to maintain, but just in time, dwarfs became the norm. Now rich people pay me to manage their complicated fruit trees as my skill is a dying craft. A commercial fruit grower couldn't afford me.

The easiest shape apple tree to manage is an umbrella where all you have to do is cut out the most vigorous new wood each year and sort out the spur-wood. I can teach someone how to do that in an hour.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

Hman, this was mostly on some pre-existing trees that were here when I bought the place. Don't you worry about borers entering these little wounds?
What I have started doing, wish I had thought about it before i purchased the spreaders, is tying my young trees. Each tree has its individual fence and those make a good anchor for tying young branches down


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

I think the practice mentioned in this thread of cutting a "hinge" in branches to improve the crotch angle is called "kerfing". When I googled that I found alot of information about wood-working, not fruit trees. But the idea is somewhat similar.


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RE: Weighting down pear tree branches or pegging

> For certain very upright European plums,
> spreaders are invaluable

Yeah, like Seneca. What a vigorous upright monster this has been for me. And virtually no fruit, like two or three each year. I think if the situation doesn't improve this year, she's going to the burn-pile. I doubt that poor crotch angles are entirely the problem. Could I be wrong?
I'd like to keep this tree if it could be made productive. The few fruits I get are fabulous. Maybe I'll try kerfing some branches and see what happens. What have I got to lose.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

tcstoehr,

I also have a Seneca plum on Pixy rootstock. Same production only a few plums a year. The pixy rootstock sends up lots of root suckers too. It maybe going to the chipper.

Eric


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

Seneca has been a dud for me in southeastern NY and I've tried it on lots of sites, unfortunately. I used to read how it was resistant to brown rot and such a high quality plum that I ordered it by the 20's for my nursery. Now 20 years later I wonder why Cornell was so high on this one. Occassionally the trees will set a heavy crop but it is one very inconsistant cropper. Another Cornell dud is Longjohn. I've yet to get a decent crop from LJ and the fruit isn't even very good. At least Seneca is a wonderful eating plum.

About the only Euro plum I grow that doesn't need spreading is Castleton- it is the perfect shaped tree. Semi-dwarfing even on Myro.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

Hmmm, I've had good natural spreading on Italian and Imperial Epineuse. The few Seneca fruit I've gotten were so terribly good that I hate to get rid of it. If it cropped heavy every third year I'd be happy. I'm afraid this year is its last chance. No crop this year and it's buh-bye. Last year it tricked me by apparently setting a bumper crop. I stared for weeks at the bean-sized fruits that were not growing while only two actually were developing. The tiny fruits dropped off in due course.
Anyone have any suggestions for good-cropping euro-plums for the PNW? Brooks? My Imperial Epineuse does quite well. I have a Victoria but it's too young yet.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

I think I've heard of people getting good cropping from Seneca in the west. Maybe you should top-work your tree with a couple other plums and you'll find the problem is pollination. Kinda sounds that way.

Euro-plums are a bit mysterious to me. My Italian never sets many fruit and yet at nearby sites I manage it does well. Still, I like my Valor fruit better- and they're huge. You're right about the Italion having a nice shape and it's resistant to brown rot because it's not too juicey (I guess).

I don't grow Imperial Impeneuse although I managed one years ago that sure had delicious but rot susceptable fruit.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

My Italian was the most beautifully shaped tree I've ever had. It bloomed in synch with and nearby my Seneca, so I wouldn't think pollination would be an issue, but maybe. Last year though I got rid of the Italian because every single year the leaves would get brown spots and lose all of its leaves by the end of August. I've never had any problem like that before, and needless to say there wasn't much fruit to be had. I figured there were plenty of other euro plums that would thrive without spraying, and that's true. Finding ones that will set fruit is another challenge. I've considered Brooks and Valor and may give one of those a try. Too bad if my Seneca doesn't work out. Large, delicious, beautiful, but rare fruits.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

Really, there are plenty of plums as luscious as Seneca in my opinion. Most prune plums get a dark amber color when they're soft ripe on the tree with brix pushing 20% but enough acid to balance it (the acid disappears during drying). Castleton is just about as good a Seneca when true ripe and here is the most reliable cropper besides the mediocre (green flesh) Stanley.

I would run with some of the samplings from Raintree since they're in your neck of the woods. I bet some of the gages would also do real well where you are- especially ones that ripen before your rain comes.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

Harvestman, actually I would tend to prefer a late ripening euro plum. At least late enough that if finishes well after the asian plums are done. Alot of people don't realize that in the PNW, our summers are largely rain-free. Some rains in June, a few showers in July, and nothing after that until October. Just enough showers to ruin the sweet cherry crop. I would love to have some plums ripening in September, but they're usually done by mid August.
I noticed Raintree is offering a Seneca/Victoria combo, on Lovell(?) rootstock, and Seneca by itself on 3 different rootstocks. I guess they're having better luck with it than I am.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

I see that Raintree no longer grafts Seneca onto Pixy rootstock. Could it be the rootstock that is causing the low production for me.

Eric


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

I don't know when Valor would ripen in Seatle but here it starts in Sept. and can continue bearing into late Oct. Pretty much starts with Italian and holds on longer.

Wish that C+O had grafted some Autumn Sweet last year. One of their salesman was raving about it but when I tried ordering some he noticed none were available, which surprised him. It is one of the new ultra-sweets. You might want to speak to one of their sales reps as they will know what performs well enough to be commercial by the coast.

Empress is pretty good but I think Raintree has some really good later gages and such. I buy most of my trees in quantity at wholesale so I don't order much from them.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

It may be too late for my Asian pear but I'm hoping you can make some recommendations.

The tree is about 4 years old, a 3 variety tree from Raintree. Hadn't done my homework and let it do what it wanted. Now one graft is making a very tall & strong (thick branches) narrow V. I am very worried about trying to alter this---I don't want to break it!! The other varieties, which I tied to stakes last year are spreading nicely but the branches are VERY weak. All 3 varieties are very productive but if I didn't tie the lower branches they would all break from the weight of even a couple of pears. What can I do at this point?

Thanks for your help,

Ann


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

How long does it take before the branches stay in the right place? I have a pear tree that I weighed down the branched bc they were completely vertical. its been a month or more and theyre still moving up when I take off the weights.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

I spread some branches about 3 weeks ago...the new growth is all going skyward! These things want to grow like pine trees.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

I takes a year for a trained branch to remain in it's new position. On the short weak branches, head them back. That will eventually make stiffer stronger wood. On the large branches with V crotches just leave them alone. There is little you can do absent extreme measures. If they get loaded with fruit tie the branches together.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

is it going to be a problem keeping them tied down for an entire year? Will it burrow into the branch? I used twine and was planning on keeping my eye on it to make sure it doesn't dig into the branches.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

Thanks Fruitnut---does it matter when I do it? I have a lot of fruit on them now---can I prune after harvest or should I wait til fall or spring?

Thanks,

Ann


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

she: No problem tying down a year if they are tied correctly. It can grow into the bark some on top if there is a lot of pressure on the limb. That won't hurt. Just don't choke off the limb by tying tightly. It should only be against the bark on top if you are tying down. I'll explain in detail if it's not clear how to do that.

Ann: You can prune after harvest. That's a good time. I prune all summer. I also tie up a lot of limbs not because of weak crotches but because of very heavy crop load. Tying a stout cord or rope around the canopy is common practice in commercial orchards. Tie the big limbs together to support each other. About 2/3 way up the limbs circle the canopy with a rope.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

Spread branches set quickly when done before spring flush in my experience- once the big growth is done branches are set. It is new growth that does the trick. I use a few spreaders during summer but do much more spreading during dormant pruning.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

fruitnut... I think I did it correctly. I have the twine going over the branch and around a heavy object on the ground like one big circle. good?


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

she: You got it gal.

Harvestman: I agree. It's the new growth in the new position that sets the branch.


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

I am stumbling into this pretty old thread because of a 4-n-1 pear I just planted. All the single graft trees I planted last January I am pretty happy with, using the combination of clothes-pins, spreaders and weights to get the young limbs (trees cut off knee-height at planting) to where I wanted them. This 4-n-1 has me stymied though. I bought it for the front yard where I wanted one nice tree instead of the scrum I have in the backyard, and for pollination purposes decided I should go multi-graft. But of course the tree came through with four almost vertical grafts. One, in fact, looks just like a trunk (well, I guess it was originally) with the other three coming off it. Only the Comice, weakest of the bunch, is still flexible enough to spread. The Flordahome is thicker and the Monterrey and Hood are practically cudgels (the roots on this thing were almost 4' across!). I read about the hinge technique with great interest... though I had to read it several times and I'm still not 100% sure whether the cut goes on the top or the bottom of the branch!... but of course on my multi-graft, each of those branches is the ONLY one for the variety and if I screw up, it's curtains for little Hood (or whomever). At planting, I cut the Comice back by half and then cut the others to match. But beyond that, I have no idea what to do. Should I just take the risk and try to hinge-spread these guys? Or wait and select the most horizontal of the resulting flush from each variety and make that my main scaffold? Thanks!


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

So, just bought a house west of Cleveland and prior owner was avid gardener. I've now inherited a new hobby of farming this stuff -it's delicious so far! Friits include raspberries, black berries, golden berries, one still un identified berry, and of course, Asian Pears!

I am concerned that the branches are getting overly laden with pears and the weight will snap the branches off. Should I offer a V support to some of these branches or is the drooping ok?

YouTube video follows showing tree and degree of drooping...what should I do?

Here is a link that might be useful: Asian Pear tree drooping


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

I would suggest that you thin the existing fruit so that there are at least 6-7 inches between each fruit.

You may still need to support. A maypole may be a good idea fir you at this tome of the year.

Mike


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

But then that's fewer pears to eat come winter! LOL

Thanks for the info...any suggestions for what to do with the ones I remove?


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

A fruit tree is be able to produce a certain number of pounds of fruit per season.
Your choice is basically 300 4 oz. fruit ( small not so sweet) or 100 12 oz. fruit (fully flavored)

Thinning will also distribute the weight more evenly. The branches may still need some support.

Thinning is usually done by mid-June when the fruitlets are olive size. I mulch mine.
Mike


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RE: Weighing down pear tree branches or pegging

  • Posted by olpea zone 6 KS (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 6, 13 at 20:46

CBJason,

Mike is correct. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but removing excess fruit not only keeps branches from breaking, but improves fruit size, improves sweetness, and reduces the odds of biannual bearing.

It's so common that commercial apple and pear growers spray chemical thinners to remove fruit. Commercial peach growers have crews that go through and remove fruit.

Last year I didn't thin one of my Bartlett pears enough and the fruit was small and not very sweet. The other Bartlett was thinned properly and the fruit was large and delicious.

The pear I over-cropped last year hardly has any pears this year, whereas the Bartlett that was thinned properly has a full crop again this year.


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