How can I bring an old pear tree back to good health. It produces a good crop, slightly discolored. Should I be spraying and fertilizing it?
Hardiness Zone: 8a
Janey from Brookhaven, MS
The best way to rejuvenate any type of old fruit trees is through pruning, increasing soil fertility and controlling diseases and insect damage.
Pruning: First remove any broken and dead or diseased branches and then prune the tree to the proper shape and size. Remove any suckers and crossing branches to create an overall shape that radiates out from the center. This will allow plenty of sunlight and air circulation into the canopy. Pruning should be done in the late winter or early spring. Because no more of 25% to 30% of the total canopy should be removed in one season, if you haven't been pruning regularly, you may need to shape the tree over a period of 2 to 3 years before resuming a lighter annual pruning schedule.
Soil Fertility: Aerating and amending the soil around your tree with organic nutrients is the best way to increase your soil's fertility. Spring is a good time to apply a high-nitrogen fertilizer as well as removing any competing grass and weeds from underneath the tree.
Disease & Insects: Inspect your tree for insect and disease problems. There are several good books and Internet resources dedicated to the identification and control of fruit tree pests and diseases.
About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com
Got this when I googlrd "pear tree care" there are many more if you need them.
The first thing that I'd do is give the tree a good pruning to remove dead wood, crossed branches, and retain a basic shape. If you're not sure how, go to the library and get a book. I've found that you can safely prune any time of the year, even though it's not "ideal." Next, I'd aerate around the roots, fertilize, and take care of any pests the tree might have. Make sure the tree gets plenty of water and maybe mulch around the base with compost. I think you can spray once the tree goes dormant, then again in the spring, but ask someone at a nursery and they'll direct you toward the right spray to use and tell you exactly when to use it. The tree should respond well and reward you with lots of fruit to enjoy.
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