I’m happy to say that the main pear tree is looking very healthy. I have been religiously removing leaves at the first sign of the mite, and it has kept it under control. It also has an incredible crop of pears growing – too many for the poor tree, in fact.
The pears tend to grow 5 pears to a spur, and it is generally recommended to thin them out to one or two to a spur. I’ve been informed that the time to do this is July, as there can also be a natural loss of fruit. However, many of my tree’s spurs were bearing 7 fruits, and I really didn’t want it wasting energy on fruit I would only be thinning out later. So I have taken off the weediest, and thinned them down to 4-5 a spur. That way, in July, I should have a pick of healthy fruit, should I want to thin again.
One thing I didn’t know was that it is also advised to rub off about half of the flowering buds, before they get a chance to develop fruit at all. The reason for this is that apples and pears can become biennial, with a heavy crop one year, and nothing the following. By thinning out the flowering buds, it encourages the tree to produce new buds for the following year.
Perversely, the dwarf pear I got because the main tree was so unhealthy is now the poorly one. Not the same problem as before, and it doesn’t look as serious as the mite, so I think it is just a case of needing some TLC.