Home > Ask Our Experts > Espalier Pear Tree Losing Fruit: What is the Cause?

Espalier Pear Tree Losing Fruit: What is the Cause?

By: Elizabeth Hinds - Updated: 10 Aug 2020 | comments*Discuss
 
Espalier Pear Tree Losing Fruit: What Is The Cause?

Q.

I have an espallier pear tree that I planted two years ago, it was about 1.5 metres high when planted and is growing quite well. I noticed last year however, that the young/ small fruit was being knocked off on to the ground (early June). This year the same began happening when the fruit was forming so I covered it with bird netting and it seems to have got worse? Any ideas?

(L.O, 8 July 2009)

A.

It isn’t clear from your question whether you bought the tree ready-trained from a nursery or whether you planted it with the intention of training it yourself, but it sounds like a young tree that needs to be established before it can flourish and produce good crops. We’ll talk about that in a minute but first let’s consider what could be happening.

You say the fruit is being knocked off. Have you examined the stalks carefully for signs of rot or disease or insect attack? You may need to take a magnifying glass to check closely. If you’ve eliminated those possibilities and provided protection against birds, is it possible for hungry vermin to get under the netting?

However if the fruit that has fallen to the ground doesn’t show signs of having been eaten, we have to wonder if it could be a growing problem in this instance i.e. that the fruit isn’t getting the essentials for survival.

A young tree will take several years to be established and trained. Proper and regular pruning is vital, not just to produce the shape of espalier you want but to ensure a strong and healthy tree. If you encourage the tree to grow upwards too quickly, the lower branches will suffer. Branches growing upwards will more easily take nutrients and thus deprive the branches being trained to grow sideways, so timing in the pruning and training is of great importance. Ideally the final diameter of the bottom branch should be twice that of the top branch and in that way healthy fruit will grow and survive at all levels. Care taken in the first few years will be rewarded with a long-living, fruitful and attractive tree.

For good fruit production a regular dose of sunlight is important, as is well-drained soil. The tree should be watered especially during dry periods and fed an appropriate food – follow the manufacturer’s instructions. It is also important to keep the area under the espalier tree free from weeds especially grasses.

It can take up to five years for an espalier tree be established, to reach its final height and to be produce a good crop of pears.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Espalier tree bought already trained. I am about to put a trellis for it to grow. But need to stop it growing upwards. Do I just snip the top shoot back?
George - 10-Aug-20 @ 3:31 PM
I have a pear tree that I have had for five years the first few years it seemed ok then for the past two years it has been getting something that’s called rust or some sort I did spray the tree when it first happened and now it’s started again with the rust starts with a small dot like a rusty colour then turns in to spores of fungus on the leaf I am at a loss as I can’t keep taking leaves off the tree with the rust to slow it down can you please help me
Alan titchmarsh - 17-Jul-19 @ 4:52 PM
I have a DUC D COMICE pear tree why is it sheddind it small pearsany ideas shed
shed - 5-Jun-18 @ 7:44 PM
i have a pear tree thatcame up threw the center of my old pear tree. the old tree was approx. 8o yrs. old and was struck by lightning some years ago .the old was bearing fruit every yr. then it hollowed out and this sprout came out of the center of it .the sprout is about 10 ft. high now.it has small rusty pears every year, but they are only about the size of a quarter and very rusty.
rock - 26-Jul-16 @ 1:18 PM
I have a concord and a conference pear tree, every year some of the young fruit get affected by some sort of insect boring into some of the fruit, I have seen ants on the trees, could this be the cause of some fruit loss ?
crisal - 4-Aug-14 @ 3:23 PM
I have 5 in 1 pears 6 years old they only produce a teensy round pears what am I doing wrong?
Aunt B - 2-Aug-14 @ 7:11 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Frank
    Re: Growing Avocados
    Hello Fruitexpert. Would love to see the big trees in the south - any chance of sharing contact? For those wanting to help the trees with winter…
    21 October 2020
  • Jan
    Re: Growing Avocados
    I threw avocado stones out of the kitchen window and now have avocado bushes rather than trees! One is 4ft by 4ft! No fruit but its only about…
    17 October 2020
  • Eddyj
    Re: Why do we not hear about Winberries?
    Winberry and apple, or winberry and mint tart. Yum!! Sadly our local patch has been cleared to make way for cycle paths,…
    19 September 2020
  • tapan
    Re: How to Make Fruit Liqueurs
    this is - 15 Sep 2020 there is a lot of stuff one here which is quite out of date, I have been making wines of many fruits for…
    15 September 2020
  • sage
    Re: Growing Avocados
    I`ve grown two from stones three years ago. One went outside when big enough as an experiment and it struggled for a year but survived. It now has…
    11 September 2020
  • Net
    Re: Why do we not hear about Winberries?
    My gran from Clun in Shropshire used to make lovely whimberry pies. They tasted and looked so exotic. We picked them and…
    6 September 2020
  • Uzi
    Re: Why do we not hear about Winberries?
    I live in the USA but am a Welsh boy. I was looking for a way to send some whimberries to my Dad who still lives in…
    27 August 2020
  • Mrs cls
    Re: Why do we not hear about Winberries?
    I would love to taste wimberry tart/pie again - we used to get them when we lived near Manchester. My mum made lovely…
    23 August 2020
  • Jen
    Re: Plum Trees
    My Victoria plum tree was overflowing with plums last year but hardly any this year. Is that normal?
    17 August 2020
  • Adrian Popa
    Re: Cherry Trees
    Hello, I bought two months ago a small duo cherry tree stella&Moreno and I saw when there are small leaves, after a while are dead. Why? Thank you
    11 August 2020