Wednesday, 18 May 2011

What's wrong with the pears?

The drought is having an effect on the pear crop: my client was anxiously asking my opinion on her orchard trees, and I had to give her bad news on the pears.

"It's not going to be a good crop, I'm afraid."

I've taken photos, but my phone camera can't do close-ups very well, so apologies for that.

If you are concerned about your pears, go out now and have a look at them.

Can you see that the pear forming on the left, under my finger, has a brown warty appearance?

It should be smooth and starting to plump up, like the ones to the right, but this one is clearly in trouble.

Once the pear has been damaged, there is no point letting it stay on the tree, as it is only wasting the tree's resources, as well as quite possibly being a harbour for disease.

So be strong, get rid of them! Nip the damaged fruits off individually,  with secateurs or scissors.

If you are not quite sure whether your fruits are damaged or not, take one that you think might be damaged, and cut it in half.

If it looks like this:

...then you know that you have correctly identified a bad one.

Sorry for the focus! But you can clearly see a brown section, and when you look at it, this section was soft and rotted.

It's better to get rid of them now.

As this damage is a combination of late frosts and lack of water, it's safe to put the damaged fruits onto the compost heap.

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