is a complete stranger to Arizona as wild pears are belonging to Terrific Britain. The seed might have come from a hiker’s lunch or an animal’s scat, or possibly it was transferred down the wash by a flood from civilization that’s simply a couple of miles away. Despite its unidentified history, it found a place to germinate, sprout and thrive.The special
canyon seems to be the ideal place for the pear. Decent soil, light shade, little exposure, and routine wetness are all conditions under which a pear can thrive. The pear’s surroundings in the wash offer a moister environment than the drier hillsides. Native trees and canyon walls offer defense from the sun and wind. The rich plants prevents disintegration and permits the raw material from decaying leaves to remain in location and enhance the soil. Nature has actually produced the perfect environment for growing this mysterious tree; these are just the conditions that we would try to provide if we were planting a fruit tree in our garden.
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Many other plants join the pear in making the riparian canyon their house: boxelder, aspen, white fir, and Douglas-fir are native trees discovered in the wash. Willow, red-stem dogwood, snowberry, wax present, and woods rose are plentiful. Virginia creeper and Arizona grape scramble among rocks in the creek bottom. As in many riparian areas, poison ivy also thrives there so we constantly enjoy our step.Surprisingly, pears can
grow with regular drought and are sturdy to temperature levels well listed below freezing. However even this difficult tree had a hard time throughout the drought of 2002. Like lots of unirrigated trees native or not, it suffered considerable branch dieback. And it produced no fruit. Amazingly, it made it through the dry spell and it continues to grow and prosper.The delight of this tree is not just that it grows
in a secret canyon but that sometimes it flourishes. No various than other fruit trees grown at high elevations, its fruit production is unforeseeable and is not constantly a yearly event. The clear, cold nights of spring most likely damage the fragile blooms in several years and avoid fruit from being formed. Even in years when the conditions are best for fruit production, we do not always find fruit. We may be taking on fellow hikers or hungry animals. This year we found 3 small however deliciously sweet pears. We savored them in the shade of a cliff embellished with ancient petroglyphs.We eagerly anticipate next year’s mission. Will the tree be packed with fruit as it has been in the past, or will it be barren? However whether we
find fruit or not, we always enjoy seeing this unique tree, going to an unsoiled canyon so close to town, and seeing the riot of autumn colors in the riparian forest where the pear tree lives. Our mission is a suggestion that growing plants in northern Arizona is not always about the product however rather the marvel of plant endurance in a difficult environment.This post was first released in 2005. Last year, the wild pear tree still grew. We’ll review it this Sunday to see how it is faring in 2022. Hattie Braun is the Coconino County Director for Arizona Cooperative Extension and the Master Garden Enthusiast Program Organizer in Coconino County. Tom Kolb is a Teacher in the School of Forestry at Northern Arizona University. For more details about the Master Gardener program, visit: https://extension.arizona.edu/coconino-master-gardener. In-person and online Master Garden enthusiast classes will be used beginning in January 2023. Get regional news provided to your inbox! Sign up for our Daily Headings newsletter.