Repairing pear tree

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Barry
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Repairing pear tree

Postby Barry » Tue May 31, 2016 5:34 pm

My one-year old pear tree became a victim of today's gales here in Kent.

About three inches above the graft, the main trunk has splintered away and the entire upper section of the tree is now lying on the ground, although still attached to the remaining section of tree.

Is there any way of repairing this, or should I just cut this piece of the tree away (90% of it!) and see whether it will regrow from the base?

Were I to leave the tree as is, I suspect the piece that has splintered off would continue growing, albeit it at 90 degrees to where it is laying on the ground, which would be totally unacceptable!

Could I somehow bind it in place and hopefully create a repair? As I say, the tree is in one piece, although badly splintered.
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Pa Snip
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Re: Repairing pear tree

Postby Pa Snip » Tue May 31, 2016 5:41 pm

Sounds like you are trying to do the same as I am iin my 'pear shaped' post............. attempt to save what might be a lost cause.

If that had happened to me I would try good strong splints and cable ties to hold the tree up.

The cable ties can at least be replaced if the tree does survive and the trunk grows.

Reckon your chances of success are slim though because that trunk is never going to heal over again

Worth a shot though
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Re: Repairing pear tree

Postby Westi » Tue May 31, 2016 6:18 pm

Hi Barry

Don't really know but but you do see old trees with 'wounds' so it may be possible but I would think to only splint but seal around the wound so no pathogens get in & rot it from the inside. Maybe some kind of wax? I'd check the RHS website, or another one, may have something about sealing wounds & what to use.

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dan3008
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Re: Repairing pear tree

Postby dan3008 » Tue May 31, 2016 6:19 pm

contact a tree care specalist. They may be able to do a regraft. Basically, this involves cutting both sides of the damage, and grafting the rest back together
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Re: Repairing pear tree

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Tue May 31, 2016 7:16 pm

If it is only one year old, have you got a support post in? If it hasn't put one in higher than the tree, then splint the broken trunk. Bayer make a product called Arbrex Seal and Heal which you brush on to the wound. You can put cling film over the wound too, but I would let the Seal and Heal dry first. Good luck.
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Re: Repairing pear tree

Postby Johnboy » Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:12 am

Hi Barry,
Some pear trees are produced with a double graft because some pear woods are not graft compatable. Are you sure that it is not a second graft has shattered? If this turns out to be the case I would go for a replacement tree.
JB.
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Geoff
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Re: Repairing pear tree

Postby Geoff » Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:33 am

Bad luck. Can I ask was it unstaked or this modern idea of a low angled stake instead of a good upright post?
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Re: Repairing pear tree

Postby Barry » Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:56 am

Spot on Geoff, I used the low angled stake method and became horrified by the amount of bending of the upper branches. Foolishly, given the heavy gales recently, I moved the strap as far up the trunk/support as I could and... snap! Had there been an upright stake, this would not have happened!

Having said that, the young tree arrived in a brilliant shape, which left me very reluctant to prune it at all, which could also have made it slightly top heavy too early, although, again, with an upright stake, I would still have a nice tree.

I have bought some of the abovementioned repair gear and will try and spint it - using an upright support, though....
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Re: Repairing pear tree

Postby Johnboy » Wed Jun 01, 2016 12:46 pm

Hi Barry,
Your best bet is to cut your losses and buy another tree. Any repair you might effect will always be a weak point. Imagine getting to your first crop when the tree is carrying a lot of weight. Then SNAP and you are years down the line with no pear tree.
Here we grow literally thousands of trees and ours get planted out without stakes but with tree guards against rabbits. These are not grafted trees but grown from seed and planted out when they are three/four years old.
You seem to have had the bad weather in Kent and we in this neck of the woods have had no high winds or much rain for a very prolonged period.
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Geoff
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Re: Repairing pear tree

Postby Geoff » Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:30 pm

I used the low angled stake method


Perhaps there's a lesson there - I've always had my doubts.
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Barry
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Re: Repairing pear tree

Postby Barry » Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:14 am

Me, too :(

with the low fixing, the top of the tree blows horribly in each direction. It may well encourage it to put down more roots, but the risk - as we have seen! - is that the heavier top will just snap off.

Johnboy, in other circumstances, I would have cut my losses, but there are sentimental reasons why I want this tree to succeed - yes, I know, sentiment has little place in the vegetable garden, but there you are!

I was hoping to hear from somebody that the remaining three inches of trunk above the graft union might produce a side branch and I would therefore cut back the plant to there, but nobody has suggested that. I wonder why not...
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Re: Repairing pear tree

Postby Pa Snip » Thu Jun 02, 2016 7:42 am

Barry wrote:I was hoping to hear from somebody that the remaining three inches of trunk above the graft union might produce a side branch and I would therefore cut back the plant to there, but nobody has suggested that. I wonder why not...


Probably because they reckon the remains of your pear tree have about as much chance as mine does viewtopic.php?f=4&t=13443

They just don't understand why we want to try and save them Barry

At least yours was accidental, mine was butchery on my part.

I've not looked at mine in last few days, been too windy to go up plot, but I reckon neither of us is going to be lucky enough to save them but its worth a try.
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Barry
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Re: Repairing pear tree

Postby Barry » Fri Jun 10, 2016 10:40 pm

Well, 10 days after my pear tree trunk split, the top half of the tree which is now lying on the floor remains extremely healthy.

As per instructions above, I was going to attempt to splint the top half and support it with stakes, but I've been examining the remaining three inches of trunk above the graft union and things appear to be happening. Little bud-like swellings are breaking out, which I assume to be branches.

So, I have decided to leave things as they are and see what happens.

If, at the end of the season, I'm thinking that it might be a good idea to lop off the broken section and see whether the tree won't regenerate from below.

Does that seem a viable tactic, or am I kidding myself?

The idea of leaving the broken section nominally attached to the remaining trunk is because I am sure this is feeding energy to the tree, which might help it regenerate.
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Pa Snip
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Re: Repairing pear tree

Postby Pa Snip » Sat Jun 11, 2016 6:44 am

Hi Barry

To be frank ( the name suits me because I usually am ) your latest suggestion is as good as any. You have nothing to lose by doing as you suggest.

It has been suggested on here that your pear tree is about as likely to survive as mine is, so nothing ventured nothing gained.
If you get more replies the chances are they will be

variations of 'it wont live, cut your loses and get rid"
or
'do the following and it might survive""
and
the ones who view but make no comment as they are attending to their splinters cos they are sitting on the fence

:D
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The danger when people start to believe their own publicity is that they often fall off their own ego.

At least travelling under the guise of the Pa Snip Enterprise gives me an excuse for appearing to be on another planet
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dan3008
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Re: Repairing pear tree

Postby dan3008 » Sat Jun 11, 2016 8:30 am

I'm with pa on this one

My advice would always be, take the advice that's offered, then do what you feels best anyway
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