As mentioned in previous years, I have an established pear tree growing along the wall of my garage. It is in entirely the wrong position, being on a north-facing wall; which makes the tree perpetually try to grow over the garage to get sun.
It almost always yields pears, quantitively speaking. Qualitively, it’s been a coin-toss; that is, if your coin has 1 head and 5 tails. In a couple of years, I have had some delicious pears; most years they have either rotted from inside before harvesting, or been hard and grainy after every attempt to ripen them
Usually I thin out the pears, as I have read in books, which gives you fewer, but larger pairs. This year, I left the tree alone, due to a mixture of apathy and “every other thing I have tried hasn’t worked, so let’s see what it does”.
The news is not good. Because of the weight of the pears, one bough has torn itself away from the wall, breaking the trellis. The pears remain hard, as I would expect as it is not yet time to harvest, but most of them are blemished, and there are already some rotting from the inside, again. Many of the leaves are blighted, which relates to the blemishes.
I am faced with a decision. I’m probably going to have to cut the tree back before the spring, to put a new stronger trellis in place – I have done this before, and the tree recovered. But that would mean no fruit for a couple of years, and it remains that the tree is in the wrong place, and nothing I do will give it the sunlight it needs to thrive.
If I removed it (or, at least, cut it off at ground level), I would then have a 16 foot stretch of wall that I could re-trellis and grow smaller fruit against in containers. Fruit that will be suited to a north-facing wall.
Or else the middle ground – cut the tree right back to the trunk and wait for new growth, and keep pruning heavily, so the tree no longer takes up the whole of the wall. This will leave me space for other, more productive crops, and the tree would be more manageable.