Well, maybe not yet, but this is a good sign I should have SOME asian pears this year!
This is the tree that was the tallest/most developed of the three-pack I got when we first moved to the house - about three years ago. And then then first winter we had Doogie, we didn't realize he was going out and chewing on the trunk of the tree when out on a bathroom run. So that pretty much killed the trunk of the tree - I lost A LOT of growth... I hacked it back potted it up, and decided to see what would happen. Thankfully he chewed up high enough that there was still some of the scion/grafted on new tree above the rootstock that it put out a few new shoots....annnnd they're starting to leaf out AND develop flower buds. Yay!
Now what you see there are A LOT of flower buds. More than a dozen! That means A LOT of fruit, right? Nope. If I left all those on there to fruit, the tree would most likely drop some shortly after they developed into small fruit, and then the remaining ones would form really small asian pears - the tree just wouldn't have enough energy (nor space!) to fully develop all of them.
So the hard part, just like when you're pruning a tree, will be to thin out some of the growth. That means I'll need to go and break off either some of the blooms, OR some of the fruit when they're really small (I think about the size of a dime?).
If asian pears are anything like apples, it sounds like they develop a "king fruit" flower in the center, which is surrounded by other buds. The king fruit would be bigger. So you might suggest I save that flower now and bust off most of the rest, right?
Nope... Good thing I went to that pruning workshop a couple weeks back. While we were told some people break off the excess flowers, we learned you're better off letting them all at least get to the fruit-development stage. That way you don't run into something like thinning the blossoms now, and then having a hard frost. That could seriously thin out the blossoms - so better to leave some now and wait to see what happens with any upcoming frosts...THEN thin out the fruits if needed.
Boooooy, I sure hope I get a couple asian pears this year!