Stub cuts to encourage fruit bud development

Here is another link you may be interested in Pear tree Fireblight research so you dont have to - #18 by clarkinks

This book is old, my sister brought me a copy that was found somewhere in the US when she was down to visit. Even if the system doesn’t apply to all growing conditions it is an interesting read from a historical point of view.

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I was just reading a summary of the Lorette System, it sounds like you hit the nail on the head. There is a link to the book here. It sounds like the author does suggest multiple summer prunings, as @alan suggested.


Yes he does more than one pruning in the summer, but none of my resulting growth every reached the “pencil” size or got to the woody stage that he suggests you use as a guide to prune off. My season is too short, so I will see what happens next spring, I have other non pruned trees so if these did not turn out Oh well.



I suppose we should have asked about varieties and species you were thinking about. Most Asian pears fruit young and excessively. I’ve never grown Yoinashi, but every other variety I manage rapidly form fruit buds without encouragement to the point that I routinely remove half the spurs on bearing trees to reduce thinning chores- Asian pears require lots of thinning fruit to get quality and size.

Asain pears are no-brainer trees to prune, except that they sometimes runt out from too much spur wood while still small. You needn’t cut shoots to get them to bear young.

Incidentally, fire blight pressure where you are is likely much less than where Clark is and Asian pears are often resistant to it. Your weather is more like mine, and out of scores of Asian pear trees I manage, I’ve never seen a single strike in 25 years.

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It was not my intent to use stub cuts on any of my prunings this year, but as I ran across some stub cut references, it did not jibe with pruning orthodoxy and I was trying to make sense of it. When @clarkinks mentioned that fruit spurs on the trunk may run a higher risk of FB, I was just disappointed because I have a very young orchard and do not want to prune any potentially fruiting wood for the year. At this point it is probably better to save the trees energy for vegetative growth anyway.

I look forward to reading the Lorette System book and having another tool in the toolbox, even if it is tool that is used very infrequently. Thanks for your help in putting this method in context.


No, but on my cherry I do it for scaffold renewal, or will as my tree is just of age. I need to start.
I have heard it is better to remove at the collar for better healing and less chance of fungal invasion into the wood. A stub cut is more likely to get black knot or fireblight than one at the collar.

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I stub prune plums a lot. I don’t do summer pruning anymore but when I do winter pruning I prune off many of those tall suckers at the top and I stub a few of them.

I tried stubbing apples and pears, both summer pruning and dormant, and it never worked for me. The upward growth would just pick up where it left off. In my case I had too much vigor in the system; with less vigor or with branches growing more horizontally stub cuts could work.


I assume you mean very close to the collar but not removal of the collar.


Search MES111 for photos of a very large and productive orchard where this is the standard training method he uses to get early fruiting and keep trees within tight spacing. .

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Yes, not worded that well. Which we all now already. Funny because we stub all the time in a way when you head cut back branches.

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