Asian Pear Tree

Asked December 19, 2020, 4:06 PM EST

I have an asian peter tree that is at least 20 years old on semi-drawf stock. The tree is espalier across a fence. It produces massive bloom and sets lot of fruit. I thin it very aggressively - 2 pears per spur. Over the past several seasons the ripe fruit is too small to bother with - despite my hard thinning. Perhaps I need to thin even more but is it possible the tree is simply old and tired. Or is it possible I need to provide the tree with supplemental nutrients? Thank you for your response.

I live in eastern Washington County.

Washington County Oregon

2 Responses

This article from OSU Extension includes instructions about Asian pears: "You should leave only one fruit for about every six inches of branch. If your tree is healthy and vigorous it will have more than one spur every six inches along a branch. So you will need to leave some spurs with no fruit on them."
Other possibilities might be general tree health like nutrition and watering, disease or pests. Is every branch the same? Are the leaves normal size and color? Do you see any evidence of cankers on the bark? Have changes happened in the root zone of the tree, like construction? Are the pears developed normally but just small or are there other issues? Do you have photos of the plant and crop to share?
We are answering questions through the county Master Gardeners site, and that can be an easier way to send photos and have a more detailed conversation.

Thank you. The tree appears healthy so it appears even more ruthless thinning will be in store it for next spring.