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Stepover tree snapped...what to do next?

a_good_brewa_good_brew East AngliaPosts: 39
Hello folks

I bought a lovely stepover concorde pear tree this winter.  It's about 3 years old with a 1 cm diameter main trunk, lopped off at about 2 ft from the ground, and then 2 main branches coming out at about 45 degrees in a Y-shape.  I have put in a structure that I want to train it onto but unfortunately I was a bit too keen and I snapped one of the branches by bending it too hard :(.

What should I do next?  I have tied the snap very tightly with string and I could leave it for a couple of years and then hope it has healed, then try and bend it.  Or I could just chop it off and hope that another suitable branch emerges from lower down the trunk.  What do you think?


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,391
    I think it's unrealistic to be able to bend that branch so much so would cut it off cleanly, just below the break.  Even if left to heal it will always be a weak point and will snap next time you try.  Pruning it there at this time will stimulate strong new growth and you may well find that a bud lower down the broken branch appears which you can then easily train as desired.  The stubby bit you highlight may also take on new vigour and could be used.  Other new buds may break on the main trunk, too.
    I had to take the main trunk of a 2-year-old pear back to 2" above the graft once but buds appeared, I left the strongest to grow into a new trunk, and now have a healthy tree. :)

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,267
    I would say that the bit that you have marked at the bottom right looks like a flower bud.

    If it is, then it won’t have the inclination to develop into a branch.

    Also, if it is a flower bud, don’t let it produce fruit. Enjoy the flower then rub it off. Your tree has to concentrate on regrowing branches and doesn’t have the strength to produce pears as well.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • a_good_brewa_good_brew East AngliaPosts: 39
    Hi. Thanks pansyface and Bob.  I have chopped off the branch and will hope that a new branch sprouts.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 10,547
    I would just add that the branch you were trying to train was too long and too thick to bend down that far to the wire. You need to start training them when young and whippy. When the new shoot appears, tie it gently but securely to a cane tilted in the right direction until the branch reaches the wire. Good luck, it's not the easiest of things to do - I'm trying to do the same only with cordon apple trees.
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