Aristocrat Pear Tree
I purchased a 14-gallon Aristocrat Flowering Pear Tree for planting in the curb strip in front of my house. This tree was recommended by the City Public Works Department and planted by their staff. The tree is the same size as when it was planted 3 years ago. It is watered 3 times a week along with the lawn, and last year my gardener added a drip line around the tree, but it still will not grow. It flowers in the spring and has many clusters of small fruit on it. Is this deterring its growth, and should I cut them off. A Bradford Pear Tree was planted in that same area 40 years ago and did well until a car crashed into it and damaged it and a strong wind blew it down. I would appreciate any advice you can give me on how to encourage this tree to grow. Thank you.
Monterey County California
Thanks for your question about your pear tree. The first thing you can/should do is to remove the braces next to the tree. They should be used for only the first season, then removed. Otherwise, you tree's structural system can't develop the flexibility it needs. This may be curtailing its growth.
Although it's difficult to see from the distance you shot the photo, your tree appears to have curled and brown leaves. These trees are particularly susceptible to fire blight, a bacterial disease. Here is a link to a UC article on this pathogen, with pictures and information about checking your tree.
This resource also recommends keeping grass at least 3 feet from the trunk, so the tree isn't competing for water, and to have mulch to help the soil retain moisture, but kept away from the trunk itself.
If you would still like some help with your tree, you might want to consider taking some branch samples and/or close-up photos to your county extension office at 1432 Abbott Street, Salinas, CA 93901 (Phone: (831) 759-7350)
Thank you so much for your response. I will take a sample of the tree branch to the county ag extension office to see if the tree has fire blight disease, and also will remove the braces as suggested. I appreciate your help and hope I can get the tree to start growing.
Be sure to take this picture (and a few more) to the Extension office!