scottydel
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Newbie Question - Dwarf Apple and Dwarf Pears

Hi,

Planting dwarf fruit trees for the first time. Looking for some help to ensure the best chance of success. We live in a climate that is great for apple and pear trees. But we have no experience doing this, so it's really ours to make or break!

From the local nursery we bought -

One Pyrus Dwarf Pear D'Anjou
Two Malus Dwarf Apple Red Delicious

Hoping these three planted in a row, maybe 5 - 10 feet apart, will cross-pollinate each other. We bought them a couple weeks ago. The trees are currently still in their pots, and about a year old already, maybe 4 - 5 feet tall. We plan on planting them this weekend. We have deer in our yard, and we have heard they love the pear trees. We have an area where they will get direct sunlight. Looking for tips or guidelines to help us along the journey.

Will these species work for cross-pollination?

Should we get another species of apple (instead of two of the same)?

Is planting in a row recommended?

Should the pear tree be in the middle?

How can we deter deer from nibbling the pear tree?

Any suggestions on helping us start out and make sure they stay healthy?

Have googled the basics, but would love to get additional specific input. All thoughts are much appreciated, no suggestion too big or too small!

Scott
Ohio, USA

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applestar
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Re: Newbie Question - Dwarf Apple and Dwarf Pears

Pear and apple can't pollinate each other -- completely different species.

Pear will need its own pear pollinator -- best if pollination can be reciprocated. Not sure about Anjou. (There are actually varieties that will require a third because one will not pollinate others)

Apple will need another appropriate apple cross-pollinator (can also be pollinated with suitable crabapple however).

ETA -- Adams County Nursery has nice pollinator charts:
:arrow: https://www.acnursery.com/apple_pollinizer.pdf
:arrow: https://www.acnursery.com/images/pear_pollination.gif
(Hm.. I guess they are called "pollinizer" :idea: )
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JONA
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Re: Newbie Question - Dwarf Apple and Dwarf Pears

Hi scottydel
Beaurre D'Anjou is not a triploid so is able to pollinate others....but as star has said it will need a pollinator itself.
Not sure that you will find much to keep deer away....unless it's an 8ft fence!
( or a small piece of lead behind the ear)....sorry....shouldn't have put that..
John

scottydel
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Re: Newbie Question - Dwarf Apple and Dwarf Pears

Thanks much!! Saved us some trouble there. We'll be shopping for a new apple and a new pear to act as pollinizers for what we have.

Another newbie question...

Should we plant the apples far apart form the pears? Or can they all go in one or two rows near each other?

JONA
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Re: Newbie Question - Dwarf Apple and Dwarf Pears

They can be planted as you wish scottydel ....I would though plant the like variaties together though. Then if you have to give a specific treatment.....pear sucker control for example.....it would be a simpler task.
John

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sweetiepie
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Re: Newbie Question - Dwarf Apple and Dwarf Pears

Deer will eat apple trees too! At that age they will take the whole trunk, eat the whole tree. The only thing I have found to keep the deer out is a 6 foot fence. You will find lots of animals like fruit trees. Crazy critters. Even if you get rid of one deer more follow. I did get a dog and he kept the 150 that like to use my place as a safe haven from the coyotes out last winter. He is an outside dog for that purpose only. Because the deer here eat evergreens too!!

CharlieBear
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Re: Newbie Question - Dwarf Apple and Dwarf Pears

before you purchase another pear, remember to get one that blooms about the same time as the anjou a Barlet for example, would probably not be a good choice. I would suggest the same for the apple trees to get the best pollination. You said dwarf, but not what root stock they are on. Often what you buy labeled dwarf, will not be as small as you might be thinking, so definitely don't even consider anything closer than 10 feet and that might end up being crowded depending on the root stock and the variety grafted into it. They will need on average 5 gallons of water a week per tree unless you have significant rain once the ground begins to dry out.
As for deer deterrence there are some wraps that you can put around the trunk that will help deter them, other than that check with you extension for their recommendations. The truth is that is deer are a big problem where you are a 10 ft fence may be the only real deterant.

scottydel
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Re: Newbie Question - Dwarf Apple and Dwarf Pears

Thanks for the responses!

New issue ---> our soil irrigation stinks. I followed some online instructions, dug our hole for tree planting, filled it with water, and waited to see how long the water drained. 3 - 4 hours was a good length of time. Ours did not drain even 12 hours later. I did this for two different holes, in different parts of our yard. We have very clay-ish, soil when you dig down. The hole we dug was 10 inches to a foot deep, per the planting instructions.

Any advice on this issue?

I've read you can dig twice the depth, then refill with compost/soil combination to improve irrigation in the spot you are planting. Anyone have any experience with this?

We bought four trees and are ready to plant, but want to figure out the irrigation stuff first.

Thanks in advance...:)

-Scott

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applestar
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Re: Newbie Question - Dwarf Apple and Dwarf Pears

Don't dig down. You will drown your trees in soupy death tubs.
I have solid clay subsoil too, and what has worked the best for me is to build kind of a mound..

I use a 1/2 moon sod cutter to make a big double circle (doughnut). The center of the doughnut is at least 2 feet in diameter, sometimes larger depending on how big the trees are. The doughnut hole gets sliced into 6 pies. The doughnut ring is cut up into manageable pieces and peeled up and set aside. Then I peel up the pies, use a garden fork to fracture the soil in the middle (stand on the fork until the tines are all the way in, then tilt to lift but NOT dig), add some (a shovelful) unfinished compost -- this attracts earthworms -- you can use shredded cardboard or leaves and finished/bagged if you want -- and put the sod pies back dirt side up/grass•weed side down and gapped apart My clay soil is acidic so I add dolomitic lime and a bag of patio paver gravel. Rake that into the sod dirt and pull away enough to seat the tree. If the roots are long, I tuck them under the pie-sod pieces. At this point, I water thoroughly.

The doughnut sod pieces are piled upside down to cover the rootball, and gaps are filled with a mixture of topsoil and compost and sand into a nice domed mound, but I don't worry about tufts of grass•weeds sticking out because I'm going to mulch.

You should be left with a moat around the mound. I cover the mound and moat with 3-4 layers of plain brown kraft or newsprint packing paper (4-5 layers of newspaper is the usual deal but I don't like the ink), then weigh down and cover up the papers with some kind of mulch -- decorative where necessary -- all the way to the edge of the moat, then water thoroughly again.

(This is when the ground is flat. On a slope, I make the moat deeper on the uphill side if the tree likes lots of water and deeper on the downhill side if it really needs good drainage)
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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