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How to Start a Cleveland Pear Tree

A Cleveland pear tree is known for its improvement over the very common Bradford pear tree, which has blanketed the suburban United States over the past few years. The Cleveland is more narrow and forms its branches more spaced out on the trunk, making it less likely to be damaged by storms. Start your own from cuttings since the plant is a hybrid and the seeds produced in the little pears will not produce Cleveland pear trees. Starting a cutting takes a little time, but is usually successful with the right procedures.

Select your cuttings from a growing Cleveland pear tree. Look for the new growth from the current year. The best time to do this is in the early summer when there is a flush of new growth. Get sections that have three or four leaves on them.

Dampen the cutting by setting it in a container of warm water for about an hour. This will assure that the cut has not hardened over. If you are not able to work with your cutting right after you cut it, place it in a plastic bag in a cool spot. Remove the bottom leaves from the part of the stem that will be buried.

Prepare your container by filling it most of the way with the sand/peat moss mixture. Make sure the peat moss is moistened well before you set the cutting into it. Poke a hole in the soil with the back of a pencil or stick about 3 inches deep and as wide as the cutting.

Dip the end of the cutting into the rooting hormone powder. Find the tree-rooting hormone as opposed to the planting hormone for perennials. Take the cutting and place it in the hole you prepared. Press the soil mixture up against the cutting on all sides so it has good contact. If you are doing more than one cutting per pot, leave at least 2 inches between the cuttings

Place the whole pot in a clear plastic bag to hold in the humidity. You can use a couple of sticks to hold the plastic up off the cutting. Set it in a warm spot out of direct sunlight. You should see signs of growth in four to six weeks. Transplant it to a larger pot, being careful not to disturb the soil around the roots. Keep it sheltered until it grows large enough to plant outside.

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