pears in korea

bhawkins(8A Dallas)November 5, 2013

I stopped in Myeongsan Ri ,South Korea, famous for its pears; just northeast of Busan. We were driving by, stopped to buy a box of Olympic Giant pears, & the owner let us wander through his orchard.

The trees are planted on a hillside, at a 5 meter x 5 meter spacing. They're espaliered horizontally at a height of 5-6 feet. So each tree grows 5-6 ft vertical, & then is entirely horizontal. Training wires create sometimes a 12"X12" grid, sometimes 12"X18", sometimes 24"24". Limbs are tied to the grid with cloth strips. Owner said that he buys 3 year old trees from a nursery, who would dig them up; after replanting they'd bear fruit third year. The horizontal trees look neat!; lots of sun, fruit can be picked from underneath.

They grow 6 types of pears; owner says the best one ripens in August, a Shinsu (sic?)

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Bhawkins, this is truly fascinating. I have seen many an orchard in Europe, but never in the Far East. The espalier idea is interesting, as all of the fruit would be so easy for the pickers. However, the lack of height and depth of the trees will allow for less fruit over all. Guess they don't care much about weeds. Great picture, thank you so much. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 9:45PM
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Great experience for you, thanks for the report.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 10:20PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

That's a great picture. If I had unlimited land, I'd want to try to make a fruiting ceiling like that. I've heard of "fruiting-wall" for apples (Jon Clements on Youtube), but haven't seen tree-fruit trellised that way before. It seems like a good way to ensure even sun coverage. The shade from trees should also help suppress the weeds, though from the pic, they could use some mulch.

It has to be tough to keep the tree from throwing off waterspouts. They don't have much space to get at anything (or even see) over the "ceiling" of branches. Maybe they just reach through with long loppers...

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 11:56PM
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Years ago a friend went to live in New Zealand and she got a job as an apple picker at an orchard. The photos she showed me were of apples planted in the same manner as your photo only the space under the canopy was lower (shorter). Everyone used wheelchairs to scoot around under the branches and pick fruit. A tall person would not be able to stand up in that space. She never learned the reasons for the way they did things - but they seemed to have everything figured out to grow top quality apples.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 12:40PM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

This technique appears to have been in use in Asia for quite some time -- F.H. King's Farmers of Forty Centuries, which was published in 1911, includes a couple of photos and a brief description of Japanese pear orchards "with their limbs tied down upon horizontal overâÂÂhead trellises at a height under which a man can readily walk erect..."

Here is a link that might be useful: Farmers of 40 Centuries - Google Preview - Skip to Pages 21-23

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 1:00PM
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