Amy asks several questions for proper care of her fruit trees.
Response by Master Gardener Bruce:
Hi Amy, Thanks for your your question about your fruit trees. It’s good that you have cut the dead out of your pear tree. You may want to prune it to maximize your pear production. The best time to prune is late winter. Here is a link for pruning a pear tree. https://www.goodfruit.com/the-1-2-3-rule-of-pruning/
So you haven’t seen any plums on your tree yet? It normally takes 4-6 years before the tree will start to fruit. It has been growing long enough so there must be another factor causing your plum not to bear fruit. If you know the variety, look it up online and check the following: Is it an ornamental plum? If it is an ornamental then it will not bear fruit. Will the variety self pollinate or do you need a second tree for pollination?
The most common cause is frost damage. They bloom earlier than most of the other fruit trees which makes it more susceptible to frost damage. This year on April 15 & 16 the temps dived to 25 degrees. That pretty much destroyed your crop for this year. It may have been the case last year as well. I read where someone put Christmas tree lights on the tree to help keep the temp above 32 degrees. You can also put sheets on some of the branches to help protect the flowers if it happens again. With the change in weather patterns, I’m sure it will happen again.
If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to write back.–
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