I have a small red pear tree that produces the most wonderful red pears. A
while ago I discovered the trunk had split:
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.