The pear tree in my backyard is at least 30 years old. I had it pruned for the first time ever, by an arborist, two years ago. There were signs of small scale trellis rust. The tree flowered nicely last year but did not bear any fruit. If there were trellis rust, it was minimal or hardly noticeable. The tree is flowering fully again this year. Was the lack of fruits last year post-pruning a normal sign? Or is it a sign that I should start thinking of replacing the pear tree in the next few years? Thank you in advance for answering.
Thank you for your question.
Pruning is meant to rejuvenate trees and improve fruit production. Pruning is also recommended to control Gymnosporangium sabinae i.e. pear trellis rust. The fact that there was no fruit after your tree was pruned is not a normal sign. Pear trellis rust can affect fruit production. The other thing is that your tree is 30 years old. Although some pear trees live for fifty years, most have a relatively short life span (15 – 25 years). It is possible that the combination of the age of your tree and pear trellis rust caused the lack of fruit production last year. The amount of fruit production this year may help you to decide whether you need to replace the pear tree. One thing you can do to improve the odds of fruit production this year is to control the symptoms of pear trellis rust. Below are two links with information about pear trellis rust:
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) fact sheet https://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/IPM/english/tender/diseases-and-disorders/trellisrust.html
Toronto Master Gardeners https://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/index.php/askagardener/pear-trellis-rust-2/
Good luck with your tree this year.