Written by  Bas van den Ende

Tame pear trees early (part 3)

Following are nine steps for the first two years to establish a branchless pear tree with two leaders (bi-axis), either as an upright 2D wall or on Open Tatura.

It is assumed that the soil has been tested and prepared before trees are planted. Suggested planting distance is 4 x 2 m (1250 trees per hectare), with a polliniser tree near every pole (every 12 m).
Polliniser trees do not take the space of trees of the main variety. The trees are supported by a trellis, and drip irrigation has been installed.

First year (cont from last issue)
Step 4
Gradually select two shoots of equal length and tie them to the guiding strings with a tapener.
Encourage growth of the leaders, and remove any sylleptic shoots. (Photo 1). You can now cut out the top part of the whip that had the strong shoots which were pinched.
Second year
Step 5
Spray trees with 2% Dormex six weeks before anticipated bud swell (in Victoria, about the end of the first week in August).
Step 6
At bud swell, spray trees with 10L of MaxCel + 25g ProGibb SG + 5kg low-bio urea in 1000L of water (Photos 2A & 2B).
(MaxCel is the global trade name of 6-Benzyl Adenine and replaced Cylex. ProGibb SG active constituent is 400g/kg Gibberellic Acid).

To control apical dominance:
Step 7
At early shoot growth, rub out number 2, 3 and 4. These are the young shoots immediately below the terminal (no. 1) shoot, also called the apex (Photos 3A & 3B).
Remove any flowers from the apex shoot.
Step 8
Pinch several new shoots immediately below the no. 4 shoot, if they are too vigorous and become too dominant. (Photo 4A & 4B)

Step 9 (cont next issue)

See this article in Tree Fruit July 2021