(Callery) Pear raw material...how to proceed

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(Callery) Pear raw material...how to proceed

Post  coh on Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:28 pm

Hello,

This is a follow-up to my earlier thread about an unknown tree I was given. Consensus is it's a pear of some type, probably callery. I have compared it to local Bradford pears and I'm pretty sure it's a seedling from that. The tree was collected some years ago from a farm hedgerow. I don't think the previous owner has done much if any training work. When I received it the tree was loose in the pot and leaning way over with part of the root mass exposed. I repotted it into a larger (10"x14") grow box and adjusted the planting angle. This was several weeks ago and the tree is doing fine, no loss of foliage, and new roots are showing through the bottom of the pot.

So now I'm wondering how to proceed with this material. I'm going to post a series of photos from different viewpoints. It's hard to see the branch structure (there aren't many so that's not a big problem). If anyone has any thoughts on how to proceed design-wise, as well how this species responds to pruning, wiring, etc, I'd appreciate hearing them. In particular, I feel like I might want/need some additional branches on the upper part of the trunk. Will hard pruning in the spring force new growth from sections of the trunk that have already developed the furrowed bark?

Thanks for any thoughts/suggestions! I can provide additional photos or description if needed.

Chris

Photo 1 is from what might be the best view of the lower trunk/surface roots. The exposed root mass is about 10" across. Trunk diameter at the base is a bit over 3". First branch is 9" above the soil and extends slightly to the left of forward. The remaining trunk splits into 2 equal trunks at 11". Overall height is 46".



Wider view to show overall size, though even here the top is cut off:


Here are a series of views as the tree is rotated counterclockwise, ending with a view directly opposite the first photo:







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Re: (Callery) Pear raw material...how to proceed

Post  MIKEB on Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:28 pm

I agree with #1. late winter cut the big branches back to and inch or 2 and start getting movement and taper in the long straight branches

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Re: (Callery) Pear raw material...how to proceed

Post  Russell Coker on Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:23 am

Chris, I agree with #1 also. But it looks like there's already some movement there, I don't I'd be so quick to cut them back too hard. Taper will come as you build secondary branches. I'll be eager to see what's really there when it's dormant.

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Re: (Callery) Pear raw material...how to proceed

Post  coh on Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:45 pm

Thanks for your thoughts. I won't be doing any cutting until late winter/early spring. Will post some pics after leaf fall so the overall structure can be more easily seen.

Chris

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Re: (Callery) Pear raw material...how to proceed

Post  coh on Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:56 pm

Now that we're in the dormant season, I thought I'd update this thread with some new photos to see if anyone has suggestions for this material. I'm looking for overall styling, as well as info about how pears respond to pruning.

First is a view from what I consider the "most likely" front:



Same view with main branches outlined. The first branch comes off towards the left/front about 9" above the soil. The trunk then splits into 2 equally-thick segments about 2 inches above that.



Sequence of views rotated about 45 deg each step:



Can see from this right-side view that the main lower trunk leans slightly toward the back as planted, then straightens out above:





"Back" view:


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Re: (Callery) Pear raw material...how to proceed

Post  coh on Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:10 pm

Two possible approaches I've been "virtually" looking at. The first would be to use the current front view and produce an informal upright. The first branch would come off to the left (it's the blue branch in the first image, last post). The main trunk line would extend up along the red trunk, and the green trunk would be removed. Pretty much all the major branches would have to be started from scratch. This very crude sketch indicates the general direction. Tree height as drawn would be about 2 feet:



The second possibility is to tilt the tree over to the left and make a semi-cascade, starting with something like this:



And heading toward this general layout:



I'm not a big fan of cascades and think I favor an upright tree. Any thoughts or suggestions would be welcome!

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Re: (Callery) Pear raw material...how to proceed

Post  drgonzo on Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:21 pm

If you lean her over on her side you'll lose a lot of that killer root spread I say keep it as an upright, and I agree with your first sketch totally just do that! Hard prune in march, seal your cuts well! Watch it explode with buds....

I am VERY jealous! What a great tree to work with.
-Jay

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Re: (Callery) Pear raw material...how to proceed

Post  JimLewis on Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:35 pm

For myself, I like the third winter picture. It has a most attractive silhouette.

But either of Coh's (but particularly the upright) would work, too.

I do like Pears. I only have one now, but had several down in Florida. Mine is Pyrus pyrifolia, and seems to have somewhat coarser branching than yours (I'll add a current winter picture later; it is early morning now and there's no light -- and, besides, it is COLD).

Generally, though, pears seem to be tough plants and will take a lot of abuse. I used a sharp knife and split the trunk of this one to make a twin trunk out of it and the tree didn't even blink.

Given their druthers, a pear will grow into a wide, dome-like silhouette.
This is its current front.



I'm going to turn it a bit this spring:

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: (Callery) Pear raw material...how to proceed

Post  coh on Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:53 pm

Jim and Jay, thanks for your thoughts.

Jim, which silhouette are you referring to? The one I've posted below? Or the one that follows it? To me, the branch structure looks "nicer" in this photo, but the tree is much larger than what I envision the final tree to be...so most of it would be removed anyway. Possibly a bigger problem with this viewing angle is that the trunk leans away from the viewer quite significantly.

Also, your pear is a nice looking tree - thanks for posting! Looks a bit larger than most of your other trees. About how tall is it? I know you didn't ask, but I think I actually prefer the current front, or perhaps something between the 2 views with a little less gap between the trunks.

Chris


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Re: (Callery) Pear raw material...how to proceed

Post  JimLewis on Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:45 pm

coh wrote:Jim and Jay, thanks for your thoughts.

Jim, which silhouette are you referring to? The one I've posted below? Or the one that follows it? To me, the branch structure looks "nicer" in this photo, but the tree is much larger than what I envision the final tree to be...so most of it would be removed anyway. Possibly a bigger problem with this viewing angle is that the trunk leans away from the viewer quite significantly.

This is the one. I'm not sure that I would cut more than 1/3 of the length of the branches off.

Also, your pear is a nice looking tree - thanks for posting! Looks a bit larger than most of your other trees. About how tall is it? I know you didn't ask, but I think I actually prefer the current front, or perhaps something between the 2 views with a little less gap between the trunks.

Chris

Thanks. My pear stands about 9 inches from the pot rim. Still a shohin size. I'm probably putting it into a round pot this coming spring, so we all can choose the front we like best. <g>

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: (Callery) Pear raw material...how to proceed

Post  coh on Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:04 am

Jim, I would have guessed that tree to be much larger! I think you've got an impressive amount of ramification for a pear that size. The branching on mine seems much coarser to me, hopefully I can tame it some with time.

Chris

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Re: (Callery) Pear raw material...how to proceed

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:23 pm



Chris, do you have a close-up of the area where the 3 branches meet the trunk? There is a big scar there right? I keep wondering if instead of an easy and expected tree like your first virt you could split the trunk more and repostion those branches and create some ume-like dead wood on the trunk. Get you hands on some Japanese books and magazines and study the apricots there. Think outside the box and imagine what they'd do with a great piece of material like this. I'd love to have it on my bench!

Jim's little pear is wonderful, I'd have expected it to be much larger too.

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Re: (Callery) Pear raw material...how to proceed

Post  coh on Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:54 pm

Hmm, think outside the box. I like the idea, though I will admit to having enough trouble thinking inside the box at this point!

Anyway...you have a good eye. I hadn't really looked very closely at the extent of the scarring in that area until now (nor the potential of that scarring, obviously). Your comments have inspired a whole new line of thinking about this tree. I grabbed a few quick photos that should give you a better idea of what's there.

1) View looking down into the junction, from the proposed "front" view:



2) Similar but slightly rotated view showing edge of scarring:



3) View from the reverse angle showing scarring extending down a bit on the "back" side:



4) Summer view of back (similar to #3) with soda can for scale:



Chris

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Re: (Callery) Pear raw material...how to proceed

Post  drgonzo on Fri Dec 23, 2011 7:03 pm

There is definitely the potential for a split in there I can see it now that Russell mentioned it and that might look righteous! I would think to do the branch work for a few years then see where the tree is and evaluate splitting the trunk at that point. It would also allow for a good vigorous canopy to help with the healing after the split..

Thats a great Idea Russell had.
-Jay

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Re: (Callery) Pear raw material...how to proceed

Post  JimLewis on Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:23 pm

coh wrote:Jim, I would have guessed that tree to be much larger! I think you've got an impressive amount of ramification for a pear that size. The branching on mine seems much coarser to me, hopefully I can tame it some with time.

Chris

Thanks a bunch. Every winter I cut the terminal buds off every branch.

Russell wrote:
Jim's little pear is wonderful, I'd have expected it to be much larger too.

Thank you, too.

It was larger once. It is a seedling from a larger yard tree back in Tallahassee (itself a sprout from the waste -- cores, stems, skin, etc. -- created when Jackie made a batch of pear relish many years ago). I let it grow in a 5 gallon nursery pot for several years, then cut it back, and split the trunk to make a twin and then let it grow again. It has been in a bonsai pot since 1995.

I've probably shown more patience with this little tree than any other I have. Usually, I ignore my advice to everyone else, and rush right ahead, tossing patience out the window.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: (Callery) Pear raw material...how to proceed

Post  coh on Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:00 pm

Ah, "do as I say, not as I do!" We're probably all guilty of that one...

Question for Jim or anyone else who has worked with pears - if I prune during the growing season, will a pear put out new growth after the pruning, or is it pretty much one flush of growth per season? I noticed on this tree that after some minimal pruning last summer, no new buds opened...though growing shoots continued to elongate.

Chris

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Re: (Callery) Pear raw material...how to proceed

Post  Russell Coker on Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:36 am

coh wrote:Hmm, think outside the box. I like the idea, though I will admit to having enough trouble thinking inside the box at this point!


I think your tree has amazing potential. The natural movement in the branches is beautiful. I can't help with the "what if" questions because I've never had the opprotunity to work Pyrus.

You saw my apricot. I don't have any before pictures but I promise you would have said "plant it in the ground as a garden tree", and that really was my plan. I was trying to find a place far enough away from my live oak for it to get some sun, which would be somewhere in the front yard... then I saw something.

You will too. Your pear has way more potential than my apricot ever did.

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Re: (Callery) Pear raw material...how to proceed

Post  coh on Wed Dec 28, 2011 5:04 am

I am definitely going to think long and hard before doing any major work, and in the spring will be consulting with some of the local "experts" as well. It's so difficult to fully appreciate the 3-dimensional structure and possibilities when all you have are photos...even from a bunch of angles. Not in any rush with this one...but I do need to find some of those old ume photos you talked about!

Chris

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Re: (Callery) Pear raw material...how to proceed

Post  JimLewis on Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:49 am

Been away. Sorry for the late response.

if I prune during the growing season, will a pear put out new growth after the pruning, or is it pretty much one flush of growth per season?

Yes. It should bud copiously. As always, you prune when the tree is otherwise healthy. If it is struggling for any reason -- recent repotting, insects, etc. -- it will be less likely to bud readily.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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