My pear and apple trees are laden with fruit, how can I maintain the quality?
Hardiness Zone: 7a
By Gillieson from North Delta, BC, Canada
Proper pruning for your area.
How to Thin Fruit on Fruit Trees
To produce the best-tasting fruit of ideal size, the fruit on many types of trees needs to be thinned. This will also prevent the branches of the tree from becoming so laden with fruit that they break, and will help your tree to remain healthy.
Step 1Start small. Your task of thinning the fruit will be much easier if you have pruned your tree appropriately. This way you can reach the top branches without having to climb very high.
Step 2Wait until after a fruit drop. Many trees will naturally drop a portion of their fruit in early to mid summer. This fruit is generally less healthy than the fruit that remains on the tree. Waiting until this happens will not only save you work, but will ensure that you end up with the maximum amount of quality fruit.
Step 3Use scissors or pruning shears. If you simply pull the fruit off the tree, you will lose some of the fruits that you want to keep on growing. Leaving the stem in place while removing the fruit will leave more fruit on the tree.
Step 4Leave the largest and roundest fruit. Often individual fruits have begun to grow improperly because of overcrowding. Removing the smallest and most misshapen fruit first will give you a better crop.
Step 5Know your variety. The general rule of thumb for very small fruits such as mulberries is if you can touch 2 with one thumb, they are too close together. For larger fruits, if you can touch 2 with 1 fist, they need to be thinned. You will usually want one fruit per cluster to remain on the tree. Good luck.
Lucky you! Our pear tree has 4 pears on it. Last year I canned and canned. Canning pears needs to be done when they are greenish yet. To stay firm, yet sweet.
We hang ice cream buckets in the trees with water, sugar and vinegar to draw the bugs that loves the fruit too. Keeps them from digging holes and eating them. I don't use sprays or chemicals.
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