Drooping Tree Pear
Opuntia monacantha (Drooping Prickly Pear)
Opuntia monacantha (Drooping Prickly Pear) is a fast growing, shrubby or tree-like cactus up to 20 feet (6 m) tall, with a short trunk up…
Tree Fruit Pollination
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To check for overwatering, dig a hole about 6 inches away from the base of the tree. Dig down at least 6 inches, and feel the soil. If it's moist, your tree has plenty of water and doesn't need more for several days. Leave the hole open overnight if water pools in the bottom of the hole, your tree is getting too much water. Don't pile mulch against the trunk of the tree, and keep the mulch to 2 inches deep or less. As the tree matures, don't water near the trunk. Instead, water closer to the outer edge of the tree's canopy. This water should still reach the tree's roots without overwatering or allowing collected moisture to create crown rot.
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Bradford pears and other trees that have just been transplanted experience transplant shock in a great many cases. Their roots have been disrupted, and they can be quick to show their displeasure. If someone picked you up, carried you out of your home and plopped you down on a strange property, you probably would be none too happy, either.
In its state of shock, the damaged Bradford pear tree's roots can't send water up to the leaves as they normally would. Pounding winds make matters worse. One result can be leaf wilt. Other plant problems can be caused by these conditions, as well, on deciduous trees. The Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service lists some of them:
- Leaf scorch.
- Yellowing of the leaves.
- Leaf rolling.
- Curling of the leaves.
Purdue observes that, at its onset, leaf scorch is indicated by the coloration of the "tissue between the veins or along the margins of leaves" becoming yellow, and that, as the problem progresses, this tissue becomes dry, resulting in a brown color.
D’Anjou pears begin to fruit when they are 4-8 years old. The fruit is harvested in late September when they are a brilliant green in color and still very firm. While you could eat them at this time, the key to the sweetest, juiciest pears is to place them in storage at room temperature to allow them to sweeten and continue to ripen.
As they ripen, the flesh begins to flush yellow and the fruit becomes even more aromatic. This pear has an incredibly long storage life, up to 7 months, which is why it is often given or featured prominently on menus and at the grocers during the winter months.
How to Plant a Pear Tree
Now that you’ve chosen your tree, the next step is planting. Pears require full sun. Be sure to choose a spot that will ensure at least six to eight hours of sun, not only for your sapling but for your full grown pear. Tree care will be easier if you plan ahead.
Dig your hole wide and deep, mixing mix plenty of compost into the soil. Remove the tree from its container, including the burlap, and set it in the hole to the same depth it was in its container. Gently spread the roots and refill the hole with the amended soil. Water well and continue to water regularly — once or twice a week — until the roots are well established.
Knowing how to plant a pear tree isn’t quite enough. An important part of pear tree care is pruning, and the first pruning should occur as soon as your tree is planted. Leave a central leader and choose three to five branches with outward rather than upward growth and prune out the rest. Trim off the ends of the remaining branches to encourage growth. There are many books and articles written about pruning, but for the home gardener, pruning care of pear trees can be limited to removing crossed branches and fast sprouting upward growth.
Your pear tree will bear fruit in three to five years.