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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Pear Trees?

Anybody have any experience with pear trees for deer? I was planning on planting half a dozen or so apple trees but my uncle started saying how hard they are to grow and how easy pear trees are. I assume deer will eat them, but wondering if anybody has had any experience with them, how they did, how'd the deer like em, etc.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 10:44 AM
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It's been my experience that deer love pears even more than apples.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 10:51 AM
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Pears are loved by deer, and they tend to be less finicky than maintaining apple trees. Good luck with the planting and please post up some pics if you can!
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 11:03 AM
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It all depends upon where you live, how much sunshine the trees gets, and if or not the trees are exposed to FROST when they are in bloom.
Pears - is probably the worst tree you can plant - if you expect to get a crop every year.
My neighbor has had a grand total of 1 crop of pears in the past 6 years because of frost and drought.

On the other hand, if you planted Sugar Beets and just left them in the ground all winter, the deer will come and dig them up and eat them even if they are frozen in the ground.

Whitetail clover and other forage material is probably your best bet.

Some apple trees produce, while others don't!
It is a crap shoot - even then, you may only get one decent crop of apples every 4 years from a good tree, and it might take 20 years from the time you plant the tree until you get your first decent crop. The same with pears! Are you old enough to wait 20 years to get a crop of pears? Will there even be deer 20 years from now? Will you be young enough to go out and clean up around those trees 20 years from now?

More than likely, by the time the tree starts producing good fruit, you will be tired of it and either cut it down or you will haul the fruit to the edge of your property and dump it, just to get it out of your yard! I'm just saying.

At a camp, where you only go there a dozen times a year, it really doesn't matter.
But most pear trees, the pears are done weeks before deer rifle season starts, so it isn't a crop that keeps the deer around for very long, or even long enough to attract them for rifle season or winter.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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The plantings will be in the Lancaster County on the downhill side of a field with very fertile, deep, well-drained soil. The area was a cow pasture 10-20 years ago and has grown into a big scrub brush patch. We cleared out about 1/4 acre in the middle that was intended to be a food plot. Didn't get to it this year and now it's overrun with mile a minute. Still had good encounters and shot a small buck in archery but there's just not enough food to keep them in the thicket. I plan on hitting the MAM hard this spring and then planting some sort of clover/oat/buckwheat mix. I just want to get some fruit trees to get them in the area pre-season and in to early archery.

I'm young, with a young family, so time is short now but I'm hoping to stay on this plot for an extended period. I'm slowly starting into the habitat improvement game. Going to be adding some hing cuts and would like to try intertwangling some paw paws and persimmons down in some of the clear lowland areas. Clearing out the pesky black walnuts and replacing with oaks.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 12:03 PM
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I planted keiffer pear trees around my food plot a few yrs ago, happy with the growth rate and low maintenance. they look very healthy bot them at lowes. From what I read they drop in October.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 12:57 PM
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Lancaster has a less chance of late frost than our place upstate Bradford co. our apples are a hit or miss with late frost. Some will fruit and other wont the same spring. Same goes for crab apple and other fruit trees. Pears are less needy when it comes to maintenance. A variety of fruit trees is always good. You may want to check for a variety that is a late bloomer/dropper. Planting around the perimeter of the field will draw deer to the edges where they feel more comfortable. I wouldn't plant them in the middle unless there is a lot of other cover

"Lazy people think of the easy way to do the hard stuff"
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 01:02 PM
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Plant trees now. I waited for a dozen years before planting trees here and I am kicking myself. If I would have done it early they would be producing by now. I planted some wild pear from nativ nurseries.

Traditions only last if you pass them down to your kids!
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 08:38 PM
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Here is my experience, and I am not Johnny Appleseed.
I live at an elevation of 1400' amsl. The average terrain is about 1300', but the summit - 5 miles to the north is 1850' amsl. AMSL = Above Mean Sea Level!

The elevation from Pittsburgh to Ridgeway PA going north climbs about 100' per every 10 miles.

The average temperature in Pittsburgh is about 5* warmer then where I live.
The average temperature in the winter is about 5* colder then the high forecasted for Pittsburgh or Johnstown, PA.

Apple trees, on top of a summit tends to be less prone to frost than down in the valleys, even if the valley is higher then the average terrain, due to the fact that cold air falls while warm air rises.

This is the reason why apple trees on top of a higher elevation tends to fair better at times then apple trees at my house, even though my house is almost 200' higher in elevation than downtown Punxsutawney, or even the creek bottom below my house..

I've seen this the whole way up into Osewago NY in my travels.
Some places has really good apples, while other places has nothing but blight!
Even if you plant pears, you have to account for having to prune those trees to keep them from growing too tall and not producing any fruit.

We had pear, peach, apple, plum, cherry, black walnut, hickory trees in my mom's yard.
Before the blight killed most everything, it was common for everyone to have these trees.
Now all that is left is the apple trees and the black walnuts.
Chestnuts are almost non existent.

I would plant Chestnut trees and sour apple trees, the apples that are hard as a rock and doesn't turn until they have been frozen by frost or snow and are the last ones to fall off the trees. Some people will even plant Crab Apple trees, just to get a fruit that will last past the first week in October.

If you want to attract deer, you can't beat Sweet Corn...
I sat for a whole week - this week in a shed, and never saw a single deer, in a place where you couldn't load the gun fast enough to shoot all the deer in the field, if the field was planted in field corn.

I will say it again, deer are dumb animals. They eat, sleep, poop, breed and that is about it.
Just like people, if you give them a reason to come, they will come and refuse to leave as long as they are getting what they are looking for - as long as it is free!
You can't cut out all the brush, cover, else they will head to the cover the first time the gun goes bang or the wind is blowing and it is snowing.
Too many people makes the mistake of getting rid of the cover to plant food plots and make shooting lanes. When the area becomes too open, they will just go somewhere else during the daytime and come back at night - when you can't shoot them...

That is probably the reason why I saw so many deer tracks today coming out of the valleys, going to the tops of the ridges and back down into the next valleys.
I saw lot's of boot tracks in the woods and no drag marks in the snow.
Had I been at the top of the ridges between midnight and 6 AM this morning, I wouldn't have a pick up truck large enough to haul them all, or a can of powder big enough to keep loading my Muzzleloader to shoot them all..

I probably saw 100 deer tracks today and not a single deer!
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cspot View Post
Plant trees now. I waited for a dozen years before planting trees here and I am kicking myself. If I would have done it early they would be producing by now. I planted some wild pear from nativ nurseries.
CSPOT - How are these trees doing now? I planted 3 of them last spring. All still alive, just need to make it through this first winter. They put on roughly 3' of growth this year alone in tree tubes. I was impressed.
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