Closely spaced pear pictures plus some "umbrella" pruned trees

Continuing the discussion from ReplytoOlpea-topic Harrow Program Pears:

OK I finally got around to taking a few pictures. I am going to put them on a new thread since its a bit off topic and I also took pictures of some other stuff.

Here are the pears:

Its a bit hard to tell from the picture but they are pruned to a “Y” shape, only two main scaffolds. Maybe this picture will make it more clear, its looking down the row:

Now here are a couple pictures of my “umbrella” pruning technique I evolved to for my too-close and not sunny enough plantings. Here is a Beauty plum:

Notice how nearly all the branches are in a plane, its modeled after grape pruning. Also you can still see the strings I tied the branches down with.

Here is a pear, Fondante des Moulines-Lille:

This one I have a bigger fruiting vertical area, it gets more sun than the above plum. Both this and the plum are covered with fruitlets, thats the goal!

Here is three pecans in one hole that is just getting going.

Here is an apple graft starting to take off:

You can see my technique, bark graft then wrap over openings with parafilm then paint. I write the tag on the stems with UV resistant "Garden Marker"s mentioned in another thread.

Someone was asking about how bark grafts would heal over - here is a top working of a pawpaw from a few years ago:

The “Y” is where I had added two scions. This pawpaw has one variety on bottom and another on top.


Nice looking photos there Scott. Your trees are real close to each other. I am glad that you know how to prune them. Mine are about 7 feet apart and in open sky with no shade.


Great photo of the bark graft, I havebeen wondering how that would look as it healed

Thank you very much, Scott. It really helps give me a better understanding on how it works.

Unfortunately, in my main planting area, I did not give the trees enough space in between rows!!

Do you use Dr. Farwell as grafting seal? Mine is and it’s yellow like yours. I think it’s a bit too liquidy. I am afraid on cleft graft, the liquid would get into the crevice between scionwood and rootstock.

Yes, that is Doc Farwells. If you look closely you will see parafilm, I wrap that over the cracks so they don’t fill up. Then I paint with Docs to get an airtight seal.

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Thanks Scott. Gosh, I wish I have thought of doing that.

I should post my mistake(s) on Lizzy’s thread on Grating what working, what not.

It’s my understanding that pecan trees get huge. Will you prune them similarly to the fruit trees to keep them small, or let them get large?

I am not planning on keeping them short, they wouldn’t produce much that way. But if they get over about 30’ tall they will start blocking my solar panels so they will be getting a crew cut when they start nearing that height.

Here they are now, they are right by where I am sitting so its easy to grab a picture:

A wee bit bigger, eh? :grinning:


Do you get more pear out of your tightly spaced many trees than if you planted two trees in the same space and let them get larger? Maybe you are not doing this to maximize the amount of fruit? I can certainly see how somebody would want 7 small trees than two large trees in case one dies. Is there any other reason?

There are two advantages, in the first few years you get more fruit before they grow too much into each other, and you can try out several varieties.

I have tried about 1000 varieties of fruit total and I’m now going in the opposite direction, thinning out the varieties I am less interested in. I didn’t really think I would do this but between the deer and the squirrels I want more fruit ripening at once on fewer varieties, and also wider-spaced trees will grow taller above the deer. For that pear stand I really like Aurora, Magness, Seuri Li, and Urbaniste, and will probably remove Harrow Sweet, Harrow Delight, Blake’s Pride and White Doyenne. All the pears are really good there, but I have to get the trees bigger now which means some of them have to go.


It’s truly amazing that you tested a thousand varieties of fruits in your back yard Scott. You deserve to get an honorary position with one of the fruit breeding institutions…


Very inspirational photos! I made an account just to ask about your closely-planted pecans. How are they doing 4 years later? My yard is only 40 feet wide but I wanted to grow chestnuts, so I planted 3 of them in a cluster in the middle of the yard (7 ft. between them), with the thought that I might try to graft the trunks together at about 8 feet high. I was looking for some reassurance that close spacing of nut trees can work out!


They are doing well. I am starting to get some nuts now. One of them is not mature yet and I am a bit concerned it is the rootstock but I will wait a few more years to see.

The main thing I needed to focus on was pruning to keep them in balance. One I added a year later and I had to cut back the other two pretty hard for several years until the newer one had caught up.



Thanks for the update! What’s you’re pruning approach? I don’t often hear of people pruning nut trees for height. I assume you’re also thinning branches from the center? Also wondering if this close spacing had an effect on their growth rate or years to bearing?

I just lopped big limbs off the top of the bigger trees. Plus any interfering limbs. You can prune nuts like any other tree, it is just that they are much more vigorous.

Often close planting and pruning can make things set sooner, but I have not read of anyone doing it for nuts.


It took you about seven years to see fruit on the pecans? I have been thinking of adding a couple, but have been scared of the cropping time. Might try your several in a hole. Doesn’t appear to consume much space and good for pollination.

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My opinion is that 7 ft spacing of chestnuts is WAY too close .
Recommend spacing of mature chestnut is 40x40 ft.
Some will plant at 20x40ft.Thinning every other tree at ~ 20 yrs.
Chestnuts have a large umbrella shaped crown, need full sun all the way around to be really productive. Any crowding by neighboring trees shuts off production.
Have seen several 20-30 yr old? Chestnut. Orchards ,Spaced 20x40ft that really would be better off if half the trees were removed. Or made into ~ 40x40 ft.
It seems many folks plan to thin latter , but just don’t have the heart to do it when it needs done .
Best widely spaced .

What is your intention to graft trunks together at 8ft. High .?
For the novelty ? Other ? .?

Well originally I thought I would plant 1 chestnut tree (which is all I really have room for in my yard) and graft on other varieties for pollination, but then I learned about delayed graft failure in chestnuts. So I thought I could accomplish the same thing by planting 3 trees closely together and grafting their trunks together. Doing it at 8 feet high is for the novelty of being able to walk under.

I actually have half a mind to dig them up and plant more fruit trees instead because I’m not at all certain that this will work. The trees are not even waist-high at this point.

I would suggest moving two of them ., such that they are all spaced ~40 ft . Planting other fruit in between., shade tolerant,
( Pawpaw )or shorter lived plants like peaches , brambles , etc …
Chestnut can be bully’s for space on a small lot.
May be better with more varieties of other fruits in a small space .
Sounds like you have a lot of stuff there.
Just saying chestnuts need some room .
Good luck .


I don’t think there will be any problem with three together. They will just grow into what will look like one tree… same as my pecans pictured above. I would have planted them 1’ apart like I did on my pecans, it will be more work clearing out the overlapping limbs with 7’ spacing. Also at 1’ the trunks should eventually fuse so it will really look like one tree.

Is this old chestnut one tree or many trees? It is probably one but it is hard to say for sure.