j3707
Green Thumb
Posts: 306
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 2:11 am
Location: Pacific Northwest, Zone 8, 48" annual rainfall, dry summers.

Need more flowers on pear tree - picture

I've got a pear tree, about 4 years old. This is the first year it's flowering. It's only flowering on the outside tips of younger wood on the south side of the tree. I understand shaded wood may not flower, but this seems a bit....exaggerated. I have a couple other pears that have a few flowers and they are also on younger wood on the outside of the tree.

I was expecting some fruiting spurs to develop on older wood and for the spurs to be more evenly distributed in the tree.

These are on semi-dwarf rootstock, I am keeping them at about 8' tall and 5-6' wide.

Too young? Too much pruning?

Any suggestions to increase flowering...or does it just need time?
IMG_9357.JPG
IMG_9357.JPG (59.51 KiB) Viewed 459 times
EDIT - This is cool - just remembered it's the same tree I posted about in '11. Check the link below and compare it to the current picture. You can see where the split healed up just fine 8)

:arrow: http://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 92#p218092
Avoid predictable disaster caused by unpredictable events, keep yourself open to positive outcomes from improbable events. -Aaron C. Brown

JONA
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Posts: 799
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:11 am
Location: Sussex. England

Re: Need more flowers on pear tree - picture

Hi againj3707'

Do you know what variety you have there?
I ask as it depends to some extent on how the tree is pruned to generate flower bud.
As a rule, looking at your tree, I would suggest that the shoots appear to be rather spindly in their look.
Most pears will crop their best on spur clusters induced by tipping back any of the weaker small shoots that grow along the branches. Stronger shoots that are well furnished with fruit bud are best reduced back slightly to force the blossom away from the shoot end and concentrate it on stronger growing wood.
When blossom is produced on the very end of long one year shoots it is inclined to take the steam out of the rest of the potential fruit bud along that shoot.
Also by pruning a little more severely you induce a much stronger structure.
Remember that the main frame of a pear tree can stand for many, many years, so needs to be a sturdier structure than say an apple.
This is why it used to be said that we planted pears for our grandchildren.
John

j3707
Green Thumb
Posts: 306
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 2:11 am
Location: Pacific Northwest, Zone 8, 48" annual rainfall, dry summers.

Re: Need more flowers on pear tree - picture

Hey JONA, I was hoping you'd answer!

OK - looks like I need to focus more on pruning. I will start tipping back the shoots.

Any chance of the branches that those 1 year shoots are on will develop fruiting spurs?

The pear is a local variety, "Orcas".

I've got hedge row of about 8 different varieties along my driveway, all European pear. The Orcas is the oldest.
Avoid predictable disaster caused by unpredictable events, keep yourself open to positive outcomes from improbable events. -Aaron C. Brown

JONA
Mod
Posts: 799
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:11 am
Location: Sussex. England

Re: Need more flowers on pear tree - picture

Hi j,

Don't prune it now this year. With any luck those blossoms you have got will throw some fruit and slow the tree down anyway.
Where the blossom doesn't set then I would cut back at those points to try and induce spur production.
The var Orcas is not common over here although they have got some at the nearby Horticultural Gardens at Wisley in their collection.
Best wishes from over here.
John.
John

JONA
Mod
Posts: 799
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:11 am
Location: Sussex. England

Re: Need more flowers on pear tree - picture

Additional to above J.
Had a quick check up on this var. and it seems to me that it is very similar in size and general appearance to Doyen du Comice. They are not related but it does suggest that the trees may benefit in being pruned in a similar manner.
As they are such a large pear it is necessary to try and keep the producing flowers on strong wood. Pears on the ends of branches are in danger of being swung off in any sort of strong winds due to their weight.
So keep fruiting shoots fairly short to get stiffness in the cropping area.

As an aside though when you tip a shoot , as a rule the resulting growth will usually produce two shoots. On the next years prune remove one of these shoots or the whole tree will rapidly become a 'cats cradle ' of timber. On pear trees that carry large fruit it is good practice to make sure that there is plenty of space in the tree. The fruit is easily damaged by swaying branches and twigs as they ripen.
John

j3707
Green Thumb
Posts: 306
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 2:11 am
Location: Pacific Northwest, Zone 8, 48" annual rainfall, dry summers.

Re: Need more flowers on pear tree - picture

Thanks again John, I will follow up as advised. In a couple more years, I hope I can post a shot of this tree loaded w/fruit.

8)
Avoid predictable disaster caused by unpredictable events, keep yourself open to positive outcomes from improbable events. -Aaron C. Brown

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