How to save pear tree with split trunk

I have a small red pear tree that produces the most wonderful red pears. A while ago I discovered the trunk had split:
http://deadice.no-ip.info/stuff/2010/2010augustsplitpeartree/images/08-04 - 10_0911.JPG
http://deadice.no-ip.info/stuff/2010/2010augustsplitpeartree/images/08-04 - 10_0910.JPG
It's easy to see why, though I had no idea that the twin leaders would cause this to happen. So, the question is, can this tree be saved? I thought of wrapping something around the split, but I'm not sure what I can use that would be strong enough, and I'm not sure the wound will heal. I thought of removing one side and seeing if the other would survive. Is there any way to save this tree?
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I'd replace it but I'd be tempted to drill and place a bolt half inch thru the split for the heck of it . Do it now and next spring go from there.
Good Luck.
--
Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden
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On Wed, 04 Aug 2010 12:10:46 -0500, Zootal

I would bolt it back together. Drill a series of three holes (5/16") one at the very top of the split at the center the "v", one at the very bottom of the split and one half way. Place a length of threaded rod through each with a flat washer and a hex nut on each end. Snug up and hack saw off the excess rod. The tree will heal and grow over the metal rods. Drill and screw one location at a time starting at the bottom. Do not use any sealer over the wounds, that will hold moisture and cause rot. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Good luck.
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On Wed, 04 Aug 2010 13:37:20 -0400, brooklyn1

I'll add that I would also cable the fork higher up to take the load off the crotch, pears can be heavy.
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On 8/4/2010 1:10 PM, Zootal wrote:

Google for "bolt split tree" [without the quotes, of course} and see what you think. It can be done but it calls for caution so as not to damage the cambium excessively which will kill the tree as surely as anything. Given that it is a small tree and unlikely to become a hazard I'd certainly be willing to give bolting a try if it were my tree. I'd consider using stainless steel hardware and would certainly avoid galvanized or plated because of the possibility of leaching nasty heavy metals into the sap -- cadmium in your pears is not something I'd want.
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[...]
Put eye screws in both main limbs several feet above the fork, the eyes pointing toward each other. Install a cable between the eyes. In the cable install a screw tensioning device. Supported in this manner the split may heal over. However, the fork will never be strong so cabling will be needed for the rest of the life of this tree.
Is the tree on own roots or grafted? Consider paying an expert plant propagator to take grafts from this tree, or air layer some good limbs. This will give you one or more young trees that are clones of this one and are guaranteed to have the same wonderful fruit.
Learn pruning techniques to ensure future forks are healthier. I can see this prune has a very upright habit. You'll need to deal with that throughout the tree. Else, one early or late winter storm can destroy the tree.
    Una
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Zootal wrote:

I have had much damage, including a split in a major branch, to a pear tree (horse in the orchard) and I was worried that it would die. I trimmed off the broken wood until it was neat. Over the next year the wound healed over. Over two years I re-balanced the tree at pruning time. Last year it gave more than a wheelbarrow of pears. I don't if your pear will repair but it is at least possible.
David
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