Questions not deserving of a whole thread


Hmm, I would still give the tree more time. I’ve had some varieties which bloom nicely, but end up very short on production (especially young trees).

I certainly don’t mind taking out unproductive varieties (I’ve done tons of this the last few years.) But my best advice is to give it a little more time.

I can think of several varieties which didn’t produce well (or anything at all) and finally did. That’s not to say all poor producing trees eventually become jewels, just that in a backyard situation, I would give this tree more time.


Here’s a question that I have that I have not found an answer to after a (admittedly) quick search:

Do chilling hours count if your trees are not dormant? With the recent Santa Ana conditions here in SoCal, none of my trees, particularly my apple trees, have gone dormant. With the passing of the SA conditions, we’ve had some nice chilly evenings in the mid-40s. Will this count towards dormancy?


By the way, with all the hot weather we’ve had, one of my silly figs has started putting out 3 figlets. I doubt they’ll ripen, but it will be fun to watch them. Lots of tomato blossoms too.


Boy, that’s a fun question. My knee-jerk reaction is yes for buds on mature wood, maybe not for buds on greenwood. I THINK, and I’m definitely not sure, that the process for flowering is separate from the processes for dormancy in general. It SEEMS, and again I’m not sure, that this is a chemical process going on entirely in the bud. For support, I point to very low chill fruit that can bloom again during an Indian summer in mild climates. I would also think that if the process didn’t entirely take place in the bud, the rootstock would have a dramatic impact on the timing of the bloom, and multigraft trees would bloom and fruit all at once, but they don’t. That implies to me as long as the bud is matured (and I don’t know when that happens exactly), chill hours should count. I also think I’ve heard of semi-shaded trees blooming on the same tree at different times, due to microclimates.


Thank you for the reply! I’ll have to check and see what buds have formed, if any, on the trees. If they have leaves on them still, then I’m not sure if any buds will have started to form yet.


Any flower buds for next spring would have formed last summer. They don’t form in winter but do progress towards bloom. At this time of yr the changes are hormonal and other processes that aren’t visible.

Any cold in Dec and Jan will likely be effective towards chilling even on trees with leaves. The effectiveness of chilling in Febr and later can become questionable. After the tree starts growing cool won’t help.


Got it! Thank you both!


so on this slow last day at work before Christmas I am browsing the online site for new pears. Its shocking me how much bareroot trees online have gotten. $25-30+. That is reaching big box retail prices. Am I just late to the party in seeing this?
Is there anyone doing what Fruit tree Farm( i think that was them) used to do with selling $10 whips?


mksmth: I have purchased my trees online these past few years, and yes, what you are seeing appears to be the new normal. That is why I am trying to graft my of my trees, because I don’t have that kind of money.

It seems to be the smaller orchards are the ones who still have decent prices. Kuffel Creek has $10 benchgrafts. Schlabach’s and White Oak have lower prices, but are mail-order only. Turkey Creek has $16 trees. Century Farm Orchards has $20 trees, which is a bit cheaper, and the trees are very nice. Also, check the sales. Ison’s has trees for $24 bucks, but is running a 20% off sale, so they’re a bit less than $20 right now. Vaughn Nursery is usually a bit cheaper, but I can’t find the prices on the website right now.

I hope that helps. There are doubtless some others which I am not thinking of. Bottom line, I think getting a tree less than $20 nowadays is doing well. Benchgrafts are cheaper, if you have the time to wait.

Good luck to you.


I remember when I would buy a 26.00 tree from Raintree (not including shipping ) and it was a whip! 13 years ago!


No kidding! :grinning:


All better than buying trees from stsrkbro.I ordered 4 trees from them this past spring. One had never come, one was shipped wrong, I bought spring satin apricot and they shipped me a Golden delicious apple. I waited still November to receive the correct tree. Two peach trees, one never leaf out, one only grow out about 1"leafs on the trunk then wilted.
I know they have 1year replacement guarantee, but I lost one reason growth on the tree. Franklin, how do I know the quality of these replacement, will they grow?
I had good experience in the past doing business with starkbro, but not recent years. Did they change owner or something?


Thank you. I’ve never heard of those places. I’ll check them out.



A couple of questions here…

A pear question—@clarkinks Ive heard you say not to prune… so does that mean I shouldn’t prune my young trees? I’m okay with that…just asking. All three of them look as if they have fruit spurs. They are really growing tall…one especially and I did shorten the upright growth last year. What do I need to do with them…

This one fruited last year

This one has not fruited. Poor picture I know…sorry… it’s a lot denser and growing very tall. Does any of the central limbs need thinning out?

I don’t have photo of the Moonglow. Similar size but not as spread out as first but not nearly as dense as the second one.

Second question…I have a tiny apple tree…has not gone dormant yet…is this normal?



Just a note, I have a seedling apple tree that’s is second leaf and seems to have just went dormant with these near single digit temps.


Your tree does need pruned to trim it up. What I’m saying when I caution about pruning pears is sometimes people over prune which causes excessive growth and not fruit. I usually trim my pears down when they are very young to 2-3 main branches and a larger main trunk. Leave the branches that are more lateral. I will try to post a good example when I get some time. I do it when my pears are very young so I trim off very little wood later because I have the pear growing in the right directions. That accelerated how quickly you get fruit.


So is the first one looking okay? Is it just the one that needs work? I think pruning…understanding pruning… is the hardest thing about growing fruit. I just have a block about seeing what to cut and what not to cut.


@clarkinks, would pulling some of those scaffolds down more horizontal improve the tree as opposed to pruning?


anyone try any of those ultrasonic pest repelling devices?

My biggest headaches are definitely squirrels, possums and right now a large (seriously, thought it was a bear at first) sized raccoon living in my garage.

I’d love to hear any successes with these keeping pests from my garage. Even better would be using one of these to scare the squirrels from destroying every single pear and nectarine for the past few years…

I know…nets… Made a huge mess this year with nets, killed many birds and really pissed off a few possums, including one who needed to be dispatched and then cut out of a pear tree.



Pears don’t always look real pretty so focus on function which will help you to prune. One problem I see right off in the first photo is that branch on the far right has a branch headed back crossing the other branches which is a problem. Any branch crossing other branches is a point of disease and other issues. Get rid of that small branch on the inside altogether. That’s the branch on the inside growing towards the main trunk that’s the problem. The sharper the v in the crotch angles of where the branch meets the trunk the more likely that branch is to break so wide crotch angles are preferred but not always obtainable. The branch headed straight down everyone will say get rid of and likely you should but there is no need to hurry on that one. Like Derby said your branches that are spread out horizontal will cause the tree to produce fruit quicker but I have a feeling looking at the buds on that tree it’s already produced a few pears. I think you will enjoy this thread and this one


Yes but if you shape branches by pulling them horizontal you want to ideally do that when the branches are young and willowy because they are easier to bend. Sometimes my goal is to keep a pear going more upright if I don’t need fruit right away. Pears like warren are known to be slow producing so ideally pull those branches horizontal but those rules don’t apply for Harrow sweet which produces pears to quickly. You can see the general shape and method I use to grow pears in this thread