Pear trees are one of the most rewarding fruit trees for the home gardener.Long lasting tasty fruit and low maintenance make it a great choice for the garden.
Exposure / Light
As their flowers bloom early in the year, Pears require a sunny warm location sheltered from cold winds and early spring frosts.
Soil / Moisture
A moist, but well drained soil is preferred.
A typical pear tree should grow about 12-15 inches per year. The best way to encourage this is to work in compost and organic matter into the soil and apply Arts Garden Pro Fruit Tree and Berry Fertilizer. Apply it in the early spring. Avoid using high nitrogen fertilizers (a high first number) as this will cause soft rapid growth and make the tree susceptible to attack by pests and disease. New pear plantings will also benefit from an application of bonemeal into the planting hole.
Pears require another type of Pear tree to be planted in the area for pollination. Two or more pear trees that flower at the same time are ideal. All Pear trees will pollinate each other except for Seckel and Bartlett varieties. In addition, some early blooming Pears will cross pollinate with late blooming Asian Pears. Pear pollen is not as attractive to bees as apples. For best results, plant your Pear trees closer together than you would other types of fruit trees.
Pear trees have a habit of producing too much fruit. If this occurs the quality of the fruit will decline. In early summer, remove some of the small fruitlets to redirect energy into the remaining ones. Allow an average spacing of 6-8 inches between fruit.
Unlike many other fruits, Pears will not ripen correctly on the tree. They will be mealy and unflavourful if allowed to remain on the tree. Harvest pears when they are still hard and store them in a cool dry place for several weeks. Before eating, allow them to warm up at room temperature for 2-3 days. This will soften them and optimize their taste. To pick a pear, raise the fruit with your hand until the stalk breaks easily.
Pruning Pear Trees
Pear trees are pruned differently from many other fruit trees. The central leader (the main stem), should be allowed to grow upwards, do not eliminate it. Prune away dead, damaged and diseased branches as well as those that rub, cross or otherwise grow in the wrong direction. Prune to allow air and light to penetrate the tree. Prune pear trees when they are dormant - usually the late fall or winter.
In late winter, before new growth begins, apply a dormant oil, lime sulphur spray to the tree to kill any overwintering pests or insects.
For More Information
For more information about growing pears, visit Arts Nursery or call us at 604.882.1201. Best pear selection is available in mid-spring although we do stock trees all year round. View our Pear Catalog to see some of the varieties that we carry.
Click on this link for information about Asian Pears