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Jim Kotsonas
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Hello - first time posting here.

We woke up to find some major damage to our Asian pear tree - a main branch broke due to the weight.

We're really bummed, and wondering if we need to apply any type of salve, or treat the wound in any way
in order to help save the rest of the tree.

Not sure what kind of Asian pear tree it is, and if it matters, we live in Nor. California, where it will be warm/dry
for another 3 months before any rain appears.

Thanks in advance
Asian-Pear-branch-1.JPG
[Thumbnail for Asian-Pear-branch-1.JPG]
Where branch broke off
Asian-Pear-branch-2.JPG
[Thumbnail for Asian-Pear-branch-2.JPG]
the branch
 
Rebecca Norman
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Aw, phooey, that's so frustrating! Especially when the fruit is almost ripe like that.

I'm an amateur pruning enthusiast, and from my reading, the experts seem to say that it's best not to paint the pruning wound with anything. Just cut it smoothly at a good point (look up pruning info for that, and think about your tree's situation), with a vertical slope so it doesn't collect liquid too much. On your tree you can't cut it back to a branch collar without sacrificing the remaining branch, so you have to decide if you want to risk keeping that jagged wound exposed, or sacrifice the remaining branch. Pears are said to be susceptible to fireblight, which can come in on wounds, but I believe your upcoming dry weather might be helpful to let the wound start callousing over in dry conditions with less risk of fireblight. But I'm no tree expert, I'm just a somewhat well-read enthusiast.

If the fruit that came off is too early to ripen, now's your chance to try making some kind of chutney or something. I did that when a neighbor's apricot branch broke several years ago loaded with full-size but green fruit, and we came up with a really delicious chutney. Our recipe is simply: seed the apricots and cut them roughly in large pieces, and cook with salt, sugar, chilli powder and asafoetida or garlic. It comes out really nice and zingy.
 
Henry Jabel
pollinator
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Location: Worcestershire, England
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Thats a nasty break! Its slightly hard to say without seeing the rest of the tree (are there any other branches?) but I would cut that right back below the break as mentioned alraedy. I think it would be best in the dormant season as it looks like it has lost a lot already.  It should reshoot excessively next growing season and then you can summer prune some of the excess shoots out to form new branches.

It was probably caused by a bad crotch angle combined with a heavy fruit load:

So if you have any other trees you might want to check those ones and prune off any other branches with bad angles. This should also be done in the dormant season.
 
Jim Kotsonas
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Thanks Rebecca/Henry very much for your replies.

Yeah, it is a nasty break, and really sad. It's almost like we've lost a member of the family.

We have 2 other pear trees (diff. kinds), and both have had blight over the past 5 years. One we've managed to beat back, and
the other we're working on. This tree has never had blight. It was badly pruned when we bought the place, but it managed to
rebound nicely (until yesterday ).

Our first thought was to treat the wound, but (as Rebecca posted) from what we've read that's not really recommended any
more.  And as you both mentioned, and another friend of ours suggested as well, we figured cutting the branch below the
break would be the route to go.

However, after clearing away the damage, it's looking like we may just let nature take it's course. I've attached a couple of
additional photos - when the main branch broke, it took out a lower, secondary branch (the lower red arrow).  Where we'd
have to cut below the break is indicated by the upper red arrow. So basically, we'd be left with a stump and one branch. In
the 10 years we've been here, all new growth has been generated from the existing 4 branches, 2 of which are now gone and
the 3rd would be if we cut. Maybe new branches would generate if we cut off that upper branch?

Maybe 3 months of dry weather would help the wound to heal, and if we diligently prune that remaining upper branch, maybe
we can generate some lower growth and it will fill out - but please, by all means, feel free to shoot down that very unprofessional
logic/guess, as we're welcome to any suggestions.

thanks again for your time and replies!

- Jim



Asian-Pear-branch-3-(edited).JPG
[Thumbnail for Asian-Pear-branch-3-(edited).JPG]
Asian-Pear-branch-4-(edited).JPG
[Thumbnail for Asian-Pear-branch-4-(edited).JPG]
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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The lower branch should be angle cut to reduce the surface area, then give the fresh wound a coat of Elmer's Glue (the white kind) to give it a bit of protection from insects.
That upper branch can also benefit from a coat of Elmer's to seal that heart wood and the exposed cambium.

Redhawk
 
Henry Jabel
pollinator
Posts: 179
Location: Worcestershire, England
15
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Jim Kotsonas wrote:

We have 2 other pear trees (diff. kinds), and both have had blight over the past 5 years. One we've managed to beat back, and
the other we're working on. This tree has never had blight. It was badly pruned when we bought the place, but it managed to
rebound nicely (until yesterday ).

Our first thought was to treat the wound, but (as Rebecca posted) from what we've read that's not really recommended any
more.  And as you both mentioned, and another friend of ours suggested as well, we figured cutting the branch below the
break would be the route to go.

However, after clearing away the damage, it's looking like we may just let nature take it's course. I've attached a couple of
additional photos - when the main branch broke, it took out a lower, secondary branch (the lower red arrow).  Where we'd
have to cut below the break is indicated by the upper red arrow. So basically, we'd be left with a stump and one branch. In
the 10 years we've been here, all new growth has been generated from the existing 4 branches, 2 of which are now gone and
the 3rd would be if we cut. Maybe new branches would generate if we cut off that upper branch?

Maybe 3 months of dry weather would help the wound to heal, and if we diligently prune that remaining upper branch, maybe
we can generate some lower growth and it will fill out - but please, by all means, feel free to shoot down that very unprofessional
logic/guess, as we're welcome to any suggestions.


Maybe your Asian pear is more fireblight resistant variety.

I would not treat the wound personally because of all the recommendations against it, however if you still feel you should 'biodynamic tree paste' could be an option. It's something that the biodynamic practitioners seem to be keen on, though I have not tried it myself yet.

If you cut it off in the dormant period lots of excessive regrowth should appear around where you have cut the branch. Prune the excessive amount back in summer to the ones you want to keep to be your replacement branch/branches. Might be good to keep atleast a few on that top break so you have a main leader and some side branches (providing the angles are good)
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
Posts: 2850
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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The not recommended sealants are all petroleum based, they will do more damage than good.

The issue I protect against is insects getting in and thus creating a death warrant for the tree over time (borers are my prime opponent here, the moths love to lay eggs in tree wounds).

There is a right way to apply sealant and a wrong way as well, I have never used any petroleum based sealant, only Elmer's white glue, it is literally goof proof since it will erode in one year, just enough time for the tree to seal itself.
If you do use my recommended Elmer's white glue, you only spread it on the exposed wood not the bark, the objective is to protect the heart wood and cambium layer from those egg laying moths that can spell disaster.

If you are cutting during the growing season, the sap will do the sealing. If you are doing a pruning during the dormant period, you might want to think about if that cambium layer will be a target come spring, the moths will be active just as the sap begins to flow up the tree, making that wound a vulnerable point.

It is each individuals choice. For me, it is when I prune that determines if I pull out the glue bottle or not. Arkansas has a plethora of tree killing insects, timing for me is the determining factor. I have a lot of money and time invested in my orchard and loosing one tree is a huge expense.

Redhawk
 
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