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Steve 309

I have a gap about 8 - 10 feet wide at the foot of a sheltered, south-facing wall about the same height.  There's an apple tree espalier on one side and a double plum tree (two varieties badly grafted together and untrained until I started on it last year) on the other.  I'd like to put a pear in the gap.

Is there room for the two trees I'd need to pollinate each other?  Someone suggested interleaving espaliered  branches to save space - good idea?  What would be good varieties?All suggestions gratefully received


How about a 'family' tree with two or three compatible varieties grafted onto one rootstock?   This is a young one I have with 'Conference', 'Williams Bon Chretien' & 'Doyenne du Comice'.  All three are currently in bloom as you can see:

It would be easy to train against a wall.


Steve 309

That looks  brilliant Bob, and exactly fills the bill.  BUT I suggested this to my friend who knows about trees fruit (he has an orchard) and he said that one branch/variety tends to take over.  Maybe they need to be selected to be compatible in that respect as well as pollination?


You can control that by pruning, Steve.  Prune the weaker grafted sections harder in Winter which will lead to stronger growth on them in Spring and prune any strongly growing grafted branches only in the Summer, which will lead to weaker growth on those branches the next season.  In my case it has very balanced growth so I prune all three sections identically.   In an orchard, one probably wouldn't want (or be able) to give that amount of attention to detail, and this type of tree wouldn't be grown commercially for that reason.  When it's your only pear tree, you can give it all the tlc it needs!

 I was told that Williams pear is self fertile.


Steve 309

...and I think Conference might be as well.

Family tree it is then.  Think I'll buy a single variety next winter (I assume it's now much too late to plant?) and graft on buds of the other variety(ies).  Or is that not a good move?

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