In the image you see a third year Dixie Delight pear tree. An overhanging limb fell and broke the main leader (at the arrow) at the end of last season. As you see, a lower limb became dominant this year. Will the tree mature properly like this? Will this "new main leader" branch? Should I leave it alone, cut it, other? Thanks for any suggestions
Hi Tim, welcome to Permies! That tree looks like it is adapting to its environment nicely and handling outside abuse (falling branches) in just the way mother nature intended. I'm pretty sure that new leader will act like a proper leader and you have nothing to worry about.
To make sure the other branches dont try to become leaders hang weights on them to simulate having fruit which seems to stimulate fruit spurs and makes them less likely to break later under heavy fruit load.
I have a Bartlett pear that's now 4 years old. I have a 5 foot fence around the tree, as do you, for deer protection. I've been pulling the branches down with twine I'd saved on my trips to the big box store. I tie it off to the fence, actually on the fence end of the rope I try to use S hooks from old bungee cords. I tie up the branch and then find an appropriate spot on the fence to hook it to.
My knots of the branch side need some work. I should be using a bowline knot but never looked it up. I don't want a knot that tightens on the branch. So far I've been mangling a jury rig knot.
After a month or two you can move your twine to a different branch, the branch will retain the new shape, most of the time.....
It should mature and branch fine with the new leader. I've had to cut off the leader on mine before due to a similar thing and disease too, and the new one did great.
If the old broken leader is higher up on the tree with the new leader branch starting below it or if it is badly broken I would remove it. But if it just got bent down, and is now more like a branch and the new one looks like it is the main trunk of the tree, it should be fine to leave as is. Hope that helps!
Striving to grow things as naturally, simply, and cheaply as possible!
My YouTube channel
A wop bop a lu bob a womp bam boom. Tutti frutti ad:
Greenhouse of the Future ebook - now free for a while