Over-Pear-ing

Some fruit trees are known to overbear and produce too much fruit.  Peaches are one, pears are another.  One way to reduce overbearing is to crop load thin — either blooms or the fruit just after they start to develop.  Early thinning will promote better fruit quality, fruit size, and reduce tree stress.  If fruit is thinning late (after fruit starts to size up considerably), much of the benefit of improved size and quality may be lost, but reduced tree stress can still be beneficial.  Overcropped trees tend to be stressed and can drop a considerable amount of fruit in order to ripen some of the load.  Dropped fruit will rot, creating a haven for disease and insect pests that can re-infect the tree in subsequent seasons.  Therefore, sanitation is extremely important.  The photos below show an overbearing pear tree and some of the issues involved.

A pear tree with too many fruit

A pear tree with too many fruit

A limb bent with the weight to too many fruit

A limb bent with the weight to too many fruit

A tree with too many fruit will drop some to the ground where they will rot

A tree with too many fruit will drop some to the ground where they will rot

Sanitation is important to keep diseases in check.  Remove infected material from the tree area

Sanitation is important to keep diseases in check. Remove infected material from the tree area

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2 responses

  1. Thats one newbie mistake I’ve noticed while observing how one of my neighbors keeps his garden. Lets say ‘Ted’ doesn’t exactly understand that you shouldn’t just leave dead, brown rotted fruit near the base of the tree. As it can and may attract predators and infectious bugs and pests. Scary! Guy doesn’t know what he’s doin’

    -Tony Salmeron

    • Tony:
      Indeed sanitation is extremely important, especially in a homeowner situation where the most efficacious chemical control is not generally available. Unfortunately, this is a common problem that is poorly understood.

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