Pear Sapling apparently dead but buds at the base

Kip24May 1, 2012

I have a 4 year old pear sapling that didn't make the winter. The stems do not show vital buds. At the trees base, close to the ground there are some buds starting. I was wondering how, or if, I can salvage the established root system and let some of these buds continue to grow, cutting the dead 95% of the tree. It's a sentimental thing to keep.

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Once you are truly sure the top is dead cut off the sapling just above the buds; let three or so buds remain until one declares itself the best, and remove the others.

You don't say what the pear's rootstock is, and there may be no way for you to know, but if it's not what the top was you can readily graft to the new shoot next spring or later.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 3:00PM
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Yeah, the important thing is to see if those new shoots are coming from above or below the graft union. Generally, fruit tree tops are grafted onto roots of a totally different type to help control the growth of the top, give soil disease resistance, etc.

Around the base of the trunk should be a scar going all the way around from where the two pieces joined. If the new growth is below that ring, then odds are the pear tree you knew is dead and the rootstock is trying to sprout to make up for it.

If its coming from above the union, then you should be good, just let it go until you're 100% sure the rest is dead.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 2:15PM
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Thanks for the tips. Once I'm sure the top is dead, I'll watch those buds.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 1:42PM
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