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10 messages
22/08/2013 at 10:39

Hello, Hope someone can help me. I have a pear tree that has produced a high yield for years but for the last two years absolutley no blossom at all therefore no pears for the last two years. I have'nt done anything to it but cannot understand the lack of activitity. Can someone please shed some light on the reason please.

22/08/2013 at 11:22

I don't know for sure what  the problem is but a good shock treatment is root pruning. That generally gees them up. Or/and you could try cutting a quarter inch of bark off round eighty percent of the trunk. Don't under any circumstances cut the bark round the whole trunk or it will be curtains for the tree. When you do it, you might hear an almighty crack, like the buttons on a shirt popping when put under too much strain (don't ask me how I know what that sounds like!) 

22/08/2013 at 11:45

Both apples and pears need regular pruning to retain flowering and fruiting vigour.   Yours is probably worn out after producing well and just needs encouraging.

Follow the advice given by the RHS here -

and here - and things should improve.  

Do not trim the bark as suggested above because the cadmium layer just beneath it is what carries all the water and nutrients and growth hormones up and down the tree and you may kill it completely.

22/08/2013 at 12:08

If I may just come back to the point about ring barking, I did stress that the whole trunk should not have its bark ringed. I did say that only 80 per cent should be removed. 

This is in accordance with RHS advice in one of their own publications and I should like to quote from a chapter devoted to the renovation of negected fruit trees. It says:

Bar-ringing: With a sharp knife, remove almost a complete circle of bark but leave one inch  of the ring uncut..... Bark-ringing temporarily interrupts the passage of foodstuffs to the roots and encourages a better crop of fruit."

I have done this in the past with no ill effects to the tree. You will see that I leave a larger amount of bark uncut as I find it works just as well and has less risk of infection entering the wood.

22/08/2013 at 13:59

Very you very much really appreciate your comments

22/08/2013 at 14:18

Good luck with your venture. Bark ringing is ideall done inthe spring, but you can do it now. Cover the cut bark with a good layer of sticky tape wond round the tree for a couple of days until it has dried out.

Root pruning just involves digging a trench round the tree, just outside the extent of the canopy, in spring. Cut any roots you meet with a saw, leave anything fibrous.Fill the trench with the disturbed soil and heel it down.

22/08/2013 at 15:33

Personally, I think bark ringing is for someone with a decent level of expertise and understanding about trees and their growth and is for extreme circumstances too when all else has failed.  This is most likely just a case of a tree which will probably respond very well to the appropriate, and much simpler, pruning regime to psur it into production again.

22/08/2013 at 16:13

Well, there you are Spurbear. You must be the judge of your own expertise. Have fun.

23/08/2013 at 08:30

Think I better get the experts in to do that task !!  Many Thanks

23/08/2013 at 15:09

Hi Spurbear.  It shoud be fine with the seasonal pruning following the two RHS guides.  If that doesn't work, the root pruning suggested by Waterbutts is easy enough but may be hard work. 

Another tip is to clear any vegetation from the base of the trunk in a circle about a metre wide as grass and other plants compete for water and nutrients.    Once clear, you can mulch it with gravel or compost or chipped bark to keep it clear and looking good.

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