Troubled Chanticleer Pear Tree Back on Schedule - April 2021

Back in 2017, we had a large (3" plus caliper) Chanticleer Pear tree planted in our front yard - adjacent to our garage and driveway.  That tree died in year one and was replaced.  The replacement tree suffered the same way, but it took me close to a year to figure out that the problem was water - but not drought.  It was OVERwatering and the tree was drowning.  

I worked the hole and tried to break through the clay bowl, but the tree has never been right. In 2018, it flowered in November.  Weird, right?   I last covered this tree in April of last year when it was showing just a couple of flower buds.  It leaf'd out just a little bit last year and I assumed that it was a goner this Spring.

So much so, that I planted another, second tree in the shadow of this one with the thinking that I'd get a half-year head start with the new tree when the time came to chop down this pear.  That tree was this very thin Red Fox Katsura tree that I planted "between two driveways".  

But, this Spring, the tree seemed to bounce back.  And get on the program with blooms at the same time as my other versions of this cultivar and in greater amounts than I've seen on this tree in any season.  But, the problem?  A LOT of this tree is dead.  No blooms at all.  No growth at all.  In fact, the apical meristem is dead for about the top five feet.  so, I decided to just LOP off all the dead stuff.  Here, below, is a street-facing view of the tree with the new top about five feet below the old, dead tip-top:

The side-view of the tree reveals how sparse it really is, but also shows the new leader (below) that is the strongest limb coming off the trunk.  I used my handsaw to cut down the dead leader


Below, you can see another view that shows the lopsided nature of the current tree.  On the left, you can see a lot of the growth.  On the right, almost nothing:


The blooming of this tree this Spring has given me hope that it might be on the mend?  As a result, I'm going to have to dig out that Red Fox Katsura and bring it to a different spot.  Closer to the sidewalk - in this very "between two driveways" area, I call for a couple of columnar trees - which might be a good home for the Katsura.

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