Looking For Bartlett Pear Advice

(Robin) Blissfield, MI(Zone 6a)

I received a Bartlet Pear Tree, a very large overgrown one that just got its' top lopped off last fall (it doesn't live on my property). I'm going to air layer a branch or two to start anew and would like to take full advantage of its harvest in her waning years.

Does anyone know a good spray regimen for this big momma? I need to find out what to spray and when...perhaps I'll also need to know how too, if I can't figure that one out. This would be my very own, one and only fruit tree.

And boy, am I ever excited!

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

Well, first the bad news. Pears require a pollinator - you need a second pear, and NOT another Bartlett. They can both be grafted onto the same tree - or it could be in a neighbors yard. An ornamental pear within sight of your yard would probably work.

As for spraying - I think first you need to find out what problems pears are prone to get in your area. If you don't have someone from your region chime in here, then See if your county has an extension service. If not, go to your state agricultural college. You don't want to treat for a problem you don't have.

(Robin) Blissfield, MI(Zone 6a)

Thanks for the info. There must be another Pear in the vicinity. There were numerous fruit on the tree last year, only they were small. When I got to them, the fruit looked like something else got to them before I did...insects or worms I'm guessing. I should've, would've, could have done some investigating. Duh!

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

But you are sure it is a Bartlett? Not an ornamental or below-the-graft rootstock? That will also cause weird little pears.

(Robin) Blissfield, MI(Zone 6a)

I'm sure it's a Bartlett. I think when a fruit tree gets overgrown, it produces smaller fruit. The owner didn't like pears.

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

You are probably correct. Pears & Apples set fruit on spurs, and old pears tend to have too many pears setting on too many old spurs. Judicious thinning of the fruit and spurs may have solved the problem. But I understand your tree has recently undergone a drastic pruning of branches and roots? If so, avoid any more pruning of the top until roots reestablish themselves. Especially avoid removing the buds at the tips of the branches - they release the hormone that tells the roots to grow.
Watch for new growth on top - not just new leaves, but new twigs. That will be an indication of what the roots are doing. Good top growth shows that the roots have regrown enough to support the top.
I presume you put rooting hormone on your cuttings?

This message was edited Mar 13, 2015 12:52 PM

(Robin) Blissfield, MI(Zone 6a)

Ooh, good information about watching for new growth before proceeding with more pruning. The roots were not pruned, it's mine but it can stay on-site. Weird huh? It would have been a major move since it's (I mean was) about 25-30' high. I doubt I could have harvested the fruit that far up anyway.

I will probably air layer with rooting hormone, I haven't yet. I'm pretty sure it will bounce back except the large leader being lopped may lead to insect/disease damage and the decline will continue. I would prefer to train the trees young and avoid having to do major pruning in later years.

Thanks Pollengarden!

Hummelstown, PA(Zone 6b)

I have a Bartlett pear and I do not have a pollinator pear nearby and I get loads of fruit every year.

I spray copper in the spring to help control early season diseases like pear scab or fire blight as well as an oil prior to leafing out to control any overwintering insects. I use neem oil in season to control any problems. I also use an insecticide after fruit as set about 45 days prior to harvest to prevent oriental fruit moth/coddling moth. Tree is very hardy and has low pest and disease pressure other wise compared to some other fruits.

John

(Robin) Blissfield, MI(Zone 6a)

Quote from drobarr :
I spray copper in the spring to help control early season diseases like pear scab or fire blight as well as an oil prior to leafing out to control any overwintering insects. I use neem oil in season to control any problems. I also use an insecticide after fruit as set about 45 days prior to harvest to prevent oriental fruit moth/coddling moth.


Thanks John, I'm a bit confused. Would you spray copper mixed with Neem before leaf-out, or separate applications? Do you have a ratio/formula you generally use? I should do this soon, yes? I

t's good to know Bartlett doesn't need a pollinator.

Hummelstown, PA(Zone 6b)

Living in MI with this winter we have had I am guessing you are still a month away from bloom. I would spray a fruit tree oil now. Then in about two weeks spray the copper. Both the oil and copper can damage buds/flowers so you want to get them on now while still dormant. The oil will kill any overwintering eggs or cocoons. I assume you pruned already. If not prune first.

The copper will control diseases and bacterias.

I dont use Neem oil until after petal fall to get plum curculios and then usually spray again after fruit has set. From then on I only use it as needed by scouting for pests.

Hummelstown, PA(Zone 6b)

I have read that Bartlett's need a pollinator but i have grown them several times and had good fruit set without. I also have grown other fruit trees which set better fruit with a pollinator close by even ones that supposedly didnt need one such as Stella cherry.

(Robin) Blissfield, MI(Zone 6a)

Thanks so much, I appreciate you sharing your expertise. Regarding pollinators, I guess nothing is written in stone. It's important to learn while doing but getting a good jump start in the knowledge department sure does minimize the error.

One other thing I was wondering about is; do you ever spray with dormant oil in the fall/early winter? Is it as efficient/productive as spraying in early spring?

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