The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Growing => Fruit => Topic started by: Lesley Silvester on June 15, 2012, 12:28:32 am

Title: No pears
Post by: Lesley Silvester on June 15, 2012, 12:28:32 am
 :'(   :'( :'(   My pear treee was covered in blossom early this year and I worried about the cold nights.  However, baby pears started to form - loads and loads of them.  Just checked it out and there are only two left.  I'm assuming this is due to frost damage when the blossom was out.  Anyone know for certain?
Title: Re: No pears
Post by: Fowgill Farm on June 15, 2012, 10:48:47 am
I believe its called 'June Drop' when tree drops all the fruit it can't feed, if your weather has been like ours cold, wet & very windy then theres your answer. We are the same looks like no apples, plums or pears this year, piggies will be upset!
mandy  :pig:
Title: Re: No pears
Post by: peartreewoodlandsmallholding on June 15, 2012, 02:21:10 pm
My pear trees went the same, had hundreds of baby pairs growing nicely, had the cold weather, They all started turning pale green and all started falling off in there dozens only had to knock a branch and off they fell, think im left with about 9 pears off 3 trees!!! All my apples and cherries are fine though. :fc:
Title: Re: No pears
Post by: Bramblecot on June 19, 2012, 10:46:54 pm
Working at a local manor house today I checked the two huge ancient espalier pear trees that grow on the stable walls.  Usually they have a fantastic crop of desert pears in Oct - this year, 1 tiny pear between them!
And none on my little pear trees  :(
Title: Re: No pears
Post by: Mel on June 20, 2012, 02:10:24 pm
Mine all fell off too,the apples,damsons,greengage and plums are fine,strange that!
Title: Re: No pears
Post by: Simon O on June 21, 2012, 08:54:45 am
this is so sad, same with us pears and apples both suffered from hard late frost after loads of beautiful blossom. Oh well there is always next year!
Title: Re: No pears
Post by: MAK on June 21, 2012, 08:56:29 pm
We have no frut or walnuts due to a very late frost. Pigs will be on missing out but the upside is that we won;t be spending late nights making jams, chutneys or cider. We can have a use up year I guess as we have racks of jam from last year and a few litres of cider left.
Title: Re: No pears
Post by: Lesley Silvester on June 22, 2012, 11:20:23 pm
My apples and plums are doing well.  Not sure about the cherries though.  I can't see anything where the blossom was.  Ah well, I suppose it's part of growing fruit.  As least I only wanted it for us not for an income.
Title: Re: No pears
Post by: fairhaven on July 27, 2012, 09:33:11 pm
No pears at all for us here in Norfolk either... Our apples are like tiny mini golf balls that are dropping like flies, Must admit I haven't checked the plums & cherries, Will do that in the morning.   :fc:
Title: Re: No pears
Post by: Mammyshaz on July 27, 2012, 09:40:32 pm
Our young potted pear tree blossomed like mad this year before being battered by the weather, no fruits  :'(
No blossom on the cherry, the greengages blossomed less than usual but no fruit  :'(
The brambly apple is dropping it's walnut sized babies now too ( just hope a few stay on for autumn ).

Looks like our fruit this year is limited to strawberries and raspberries, oh well   :fc: we can still hope to go blackberry picking
Title: Re: No pears
Post by: Lesley Silvester on July 27, 2012, 10:14:31 pm
So far my apples and plums are doing well.  Definitely no cherries though on my tiny cherry tree.  I only had one last year (mainly due to the goats keep getting at the tree) and I had hopes of maybe half a dozen this year.
Title: Re: No pears
Post by: plumseverywhere on July 28, 2012, 09:07:23 pm
We've no pears this year either for the first time in the 3 years we've lived at this place  :(

Started plum harvest a few days ago - the cherry and heron plums are ready. So far the egg and vic's look like they will be OK (but probably not anything like last year due to that frost we had)

Title: Re: No pears
Post by: northfifeduckling on July 31, 2012, 01:59:48 pm
I'm quite upset - we are not going to have a single apple or pear, no plums - zilch although everything was blossoming brilliantly. I remember we had hail each day for a week or 2 then rain and cold. The 2 pears that took fell off. :'( . :&>
Title: Re: No pears
Post by: denmylne on August 27, 2012, 12:48:24 pm
Historically, Pears are divided into early and late (also by season, summer, winter etc)
they also blossom at different times, the period of growth most susepable to wind damage. The flowering and fertilisation of a flower is time limited, beyond which no fruit forms, or in some cases, forms and drops off or forms poor mishappen, split, etc. some self sterile pear trees perform better next to other types of pear trees.
The wind and the rain both seriously effect the ability for the insects to pollinate the blossom. This year was particularly bad.
The pear blossom was early in my orchard this year but,  even though it wasnt windy, it was very wet so very few insects were about, I  took a  duster and pollinated the blossom on one side of a pear tree by hand.Which caused  loads of fine fruit on that side  but none on the other side left to nature . I was unable to pollinate all of the pear trees at that time as not all of the blossom was fully open, some others have faired better than others

Viewing the orchards in monorgan and longforgan, carse of gowrie, it was clear to see that some of the huge pear trees (over 300 years old) were ladened with fruit where as others were completely bare of any fruit at all.
This was also the case in a more recently planted orchard of scottish heritage fruit

I suspect the reason why there are so few pears this year is due to limited pear types in peoples gardens, (B&Q, Aldis, Lidls and nurseries and commercial orchards across the UK and Europe eg confrence and concord.

One solution the people of Newburgh came up with was when any vastly big old pear tree was cut down, they grafted scion material around the edge of the stump, perhaps as many as 20. 4-5 would be allowed to reach full height . Due to pear trees propensity to twist, this gives them the appearance of palm trees but also gives the tree longevity. if one limb cankers, breaks or dies, it can be cut back to a stump and another new scion gafted onto the stump. the other 4 limbs will continue to bare fruit during this process

The types of pears on each  limb also vary, eg crawford, lindores,  bon creeton, and black auchan, the crawford was the earliest pear tree to fruit in scotland at the time (end of july beginning of august, the lindores the end of august. Bon Creeton, Sept-Octob The black auchan produces fruit up until the end of December.

This also has the knock on effect that the individual limbs will flower at different or overlapping times, increasing the probability that at least some of the blossom on some of the limbs will survive the pollination process and produce fruit on some of the limbs of the tree.

The crawford was popular in the south of england were it survived well on the brow of ridges and other exposed places which had micro climates more akin to scotland.
The black auchan, the main winter pear in scotland failed to produce good quality fruit down south, the warmer weather ripened the fruit too quickly and produced a pear of the second quality as such the south of england has winter pears of its own which are better suited to that climate than the black auchen. In exposed areas of scotland it may continue producing fruit until Jan. The black auchen has a thick and unbleamished waxy skin making it an excellent keeping pear for the winter

The citron de carmes, the pear of the carmalite nuns, also called the madelane as it was ready by the feast of St Magdalen  the 26th of July. In France. not Scotland. The fruit however, does not keep well on the tree and is liable to split. the longer ripening season in scotland is unfavourable for this variety, the fruit tends to split before it has ripened although it can be grown in the micro climate of scotland of a south facing wall to speed up the ripening process.

Many early french pears can and do survive in scotland but as autumn pears
Title: Re: No pears
Post by: denmylne on August 28, 2012, 06:03:15 pm
For those interested in Heritage Pears (
Title: Re: No pears
Post by: plumseverywhere on August 29, 2012, 08:05:55 am
Thank you Denmyine, that's really informative  :)   we've planted some new pear tree's this spring so really hoping to be making Perry in the next few years!
Title: Re: No pears
Post by: denmylne on August 29, 2012, 10:46:22 am
good stuff plum

hereford and gloucestershire and surrounding areas offer loads organisations to help with perry pears (

be a while before yours are this big though  ;D (
Title: Re: No pears
Post by: plumseverywhere on August 29, 2012, 01:03:34 pm
Wow! that is huge! Ours are currently little more than sticks in the ground but I have high hopes for them  :tree:
Title: Re: No pears
Post by: Lesley Silvester on August 29, 2012, 10:24:05 pm
My pear tree is a family tree with three varieties grafted onto one root - conference, concorde and William something or other.  This is to aid pollination apparently.
Title: Re: No pears
Post by: sabrina on August 30, 2012, 08:37:17 am
I have no black currents this year. I only planted the apple trees last winter so no apples but even my strawberries have been poor.
Title: Re: No pears
Post by: northfifeduckling on August 30, 2012, 09:48:12 am
I have forgotten what strawberries look like! I may have had 1 or 2 from the plants in the greenhouse, even they got nibbled by slugs  :rant:
Title: Re: No pears
Post by: plumseverywhere on August 30, 2012, 05:41:24 pm
I have forgotten what strawberries look like! I may have had 1 or 2 from the plants in the greenhouse, even they got nibbled by slugs  :rant:

One of my ram lambs opened the bolt on their gate and let all 5 of them out. They ate all of our strawberries and what they missed, the woodlice finished off  >:(

Title: Re: No pears
Post by: Fowgill Farm on August 30, 2012, 08:36:10 pm
I want to brag :-J 8 raspberries tonight! ;D
Mandy :pig:
Title: Re: No pears
Post by: Bramblecot on August 30, 2012, 10:30:34 pm
Denmy..thanks for the post re heritage trees - fascinating stuff  :thumbsup: , learnt a lot.  Bramleys ok but have scab :( .  Got 1 greengage ::) and about 10 Victoria plums.
Title: Re: No pears
Post by: denmylne on August 31, 2012, 02:33:27 pm
No problem folks

the "pears for your heirs" project was set up 2 years ago, when i grafted 100 pyrus communis rootstock with the remaining "known" heritage varieties. since many of the trees are down to there last known examples eg, lindores, seggieden,(this variety became extinct last week) black auchan, etc, i decided to not graft quince rootstock to ensure a greater take up and their survival. unfortunately, a violent storm lifted up the weed supressing membrane and ripped out all of the grafts from all 100 trees. This year i grafted 300 (250 of which have taken) and have "given" away about 100. this is to ensure this doesnt happen again, i didnt want all of the eggs in the same basket as it were.
as small holders, this is the cheapest way to replant orchards. (99p each) the only draw back is these wee trees need looked after for 3-4 years until they establish. this is what adds to the cost of most plants. However, if anyone wants to take on any such heritage pear trees,  and become part of this group trying to save these pear types, i am more than willing to help anyone who wants them. (

Title: Re: No pears
Post by: northfifeduckling on August 31, 2012, 03:07:35 pm

Newburgh plum sale  tomorrow - grafted trees for sale there, as far as I know . (