Pear plant care

Pear plant care

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One of my childhood memories is watching my grandmother can pears. Oriental pears are picked hard, ripened off the tree and used in baking and canning while European pears are softer like the ones bought in the store. Even though most people want to grow European pears, they do not grow well in Texas. Most of the pear trees in Texas are an Oriental variety because they have a strong resistance to fire blight. Pear trees are one of the easiest fruit trees to grow in Texas.

  • How to plant pear trees to produce fruit
  • How to grow pear trees
  • How to grow a pear tree
  • Pear tree, a king of the orchard
  • Pear Growing Guide
  • Melon pear - care, cutting & wintering
  • How to Care for a Pear Tree in Winter
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: How to Grow Pear Trees

How to plant pear trees to produce fruit

Prepared by James R. For information about UMaine Extension programs and resources, visit extension. Find more of our publications and books at extension. Fruit trees can be an attractive and useful addition to the home landscape. This fact sheet will help you to establish new fruit trees that will provide you with beauty and fruit for years to come.

Fruit trees may be planted in early spring, as soon as the frost in the ground has thawed. If the soil is very waterlogged, it is best to wait until it drains. Wait until the soil no longer comes up in sticky clumps that stick to the shovel. The climate of New England is too cold for fall planting of fruit trees. Fall-planted trees will not have any advantage in growth over trees planted the following spring. Fall-planted trees may also be damaged in the winter months by rodents, deer or severe low temperatures.

Bare-root nursery stock is usually less expensive and will establish and grow well if planted in April or early May. If you must hold the trees a short time before planting, store them in a cool, shady place where they will be out of the sun and wind.

Pack the roots in moist sawdust or sphagnum moss to prevent them from drying out. Potted or ball-and-burlap trees are preferable for planting dates in late May or early June. Select a site with direct sunlight.

Allow enough room between the planting site and buildings, trees, power lines or other obstructions for the tree to fill its space when fully grown. Tree size varies with different species and the rootstock that the tree is on.

The nursery where you bought the tree can advise you as to how much space the tree will need when fully grown. Fruit trees are tolerant of a fairly wide range of soil types, but the soil should be well-drained, with a minimum of 18 inches of soil above any ledge or hardpan. Start by cutting through the sod in a circle that is about a foot wider than the diameter of the root ball.

Roll the sod out of the hole and discard it or use it to cover a place where you want grass. Then dig a hole wide enough to allow the root system to fit without roots wrapping around the edge of the hole in a circle. Dig the hole deep enough to allow the tree to be planted with the graft union two to three inches above the ground. This planting depth is critical for trees on dwarf or semi-dwarf rootstocks. If the tree is planted too deep and the graft union is below the soil line, the scion variety will form roots and the tree will become a standard-sized tree.

What should you put in the planting hole? Only roots, clean soil, and water! Never put any fertilizer in the planting hole. If the soil is poor, you can mix in peat moss or thoroughly conditioned compost before filling the hole.

Trim off any broken or damaged roots before planting. Place the tree in the hole, and after making sure that the depth is correct, fill the hole with clean topsoil.

It is helpful at this stage to have someone hold the tree straight while the hole is being filled. Pack the soil in the hole by gently stamping it with your feet. All newly planted fruit trees will benefit from being staked. This will result in a straighter tree with more growth. Staking is especially important for trees planted on a wind-blown site and for dwarf fruit trees. Consider a strong permanent stake for dwarf fruit trees.

After the tree has started to grow in about two weeks you can apply a nitrogen fertilizer. Apply one ounce of actual nitrogen in a inch circle around the base of the tree, and make sure the tree is well-watered after fertilizing. All nitrogen fertilizer should be applied before mid-June. Late application of nitrogen can lead to late-season growth, and the tree may not harden off in time to withstand winter.

Watering the new tree is important to help get it started, especially in the first few weeks after planting. A good rule is to apply five gallons of water around the base of the tree every week of the growing season in which there is less than an inch of rainfall. Apples and pears are usually trained as a central leader or cone-shaped trees.

This will stimulate the buds just below the cut to grow. The top bud will grow vertically and form the leader, or trunk of the tree. The next one or two buds can be rubbed off with the fingers to prevent them from competing with the leader. The buds that grow out below the top two or three should be retained to form the scaffold branches. Remove branches that grow out below a height of 18 inches from the ground. Bend the branches that remain to an angle of 45 to 65 degrees from vertical using clothespins, toothpicks or small weights.

This keeps these branches from growing so strongly that they compete with the leader, and it stimulates flower production. Stone fruit trees peaches, plums are usually trained as open-center vase-shaped trees. Two or three side branches are selected, and the remainder of the tree is cut off just above the top branch.

Contact your county Extension office for other bulletins on training and pruning fruit trees. Weeds compete with young trees for water and nutrients. A weed-free zone should be established at the base of the tree that extends out to form a circle with a diameter of two to three feet. Mulch, herbicide or cultivation may be used to prevent weeds.

Newly planted trees need to be protected against attack by leaf-feeding insects, such as Gypsy Moths and Japanese Beetles. Inspect the trees on a regular basis to see if there is fresh damage, and contact your University of Maine Cooperative Extension County Office for help in identifying and controlling any pests you find. Apple trees can become infected with a fungus disease, scab, that damages both leaves and fruit.

Control of scab is very important when the trees come into bearing. However, in severe cases, young, non-bearing trees can become defoliated by scab. This can stunt the trees and delay fruiting. Protect the tree trunk against girdling by rodents. Spiral mouse guards, made of white plastic, are a popular and inexpensive option. The white color helps prevent winter injury to the trunk. However, this type of mouse guard should be removed during the summer and re-fitted in the fall to prevent it from becoming a safe haven for trunk-boring insects, such as the round-headed apple borer.

An alternative solution is to paint the trunk with white interior latex paint and wrap the trunk with an inch tall piece of galvanized hardware cloth.

Deer can cause major damage to young fruit trees by feeding on the developing shoots and leaves in summer, and by browsing the fruit buds in winter. While repellents, such as small bars of hand soap, or small cloth bags of human hair, can deter hungry deer, sturdy fencing is the only long-term solution to possible deer damage.

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How to grow pear trees

Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 7, according to the Arbor Day Foundation. Pear trees generally are best suited to climates with sufficiently low temperatures in the winter. Two primary ways to help a Bartlett pear tree thrive are regular watering and enabling cross-pollination. Many fruit trees are available for planting in the home garden. MasterClass highlights a number of options, including pear trees, which are favored by gardeners because they can be low-maintenance, compact and productive. Pear trees are equally hardy compared with apple trees. Most pear trees, a group that includes a number of different varieties, grow in zones 3 through 10, so the Bartlett is somewhat limited in its growing zones than some other pear cultivars.

Remember, most pear trees will be very large when mature.

How to grow a pear tree

Pears are excellent backyard trees. They produce a fruit sweeter and juicier than most apples; a fruit that easily ripens off the tree. After careful selection and early training, pear trees will require generally less upkeep than other fruiting trees. They live longer than most apple trees and they require less pruning and thinning. European pears have a classic pear shape and are soft, sweet, and juicy when ripe. Asian pears tend to be round and firm but still sweet. When you select a pear tree, consider how you intend to use the fruit. When you decide on the pear variety you want to grow, look at a pollination chart to make sure you select a second variety that is a pollinizer. Here are two examples of pollination charts:.

Pear tree, a king of the orchard

Being able to grow fruit in your own home orchard for a harvest right on your own property is a fascinating concept. When the fruit trees in question are pears, that adds extra intrigue. Pears are absolutely luscious picked while they are still firm, and then ripened at room temperature after harvesting. We link to vendors to help you find relevant products. If you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission.

Pears from your own garden are a delight. Even the European wild pear Pyrus pyraster is in the mix.

Pear Growing Guide

Pears are adapted to nearly all of Georgia. It is not uncommon to find trees as much as 50 years old that are still producing fruit. At one time pears were grown commercially on a large scale throughout the United States. Because of the prevalence of fire blight in the humid eastern and southern states, however, most of the pear production has been relocated to the drier areas of the Pacific Northwest. Air drainage and freedom from spring frosts are important in the location of pear trees.

Melon pear - care, cutting & wintering

Selected varieties produce good fruit with few management problems. These and other common European varieties are especially noted for their fresh eating quality. However, the susceptibility of European pears to fire blight excludes them from all but far West Texas. The Asian pear, often termed the "apple pear," is a third type that is gaining increased attention because of its unique fruit. Asian pears are relatively new to Texas and their adaptation is still undetermined. Click on image at right for larger view.

Pear trees need full sun to produce sweet fruit, so pick a spot that gets at least six hours a day. For soil, they prefer well-draining soil.

How to Care for a Pear Tree in Winter

Mom already has an apple tree and peach tree and she wanted to add a pear tree for her birthday — happy birthday, mom. However, the peach tree was just planted last year, came back healthy and filled out with blossoms and should be productive in two to three years. I think to my mom the row of fruit trees is more about nostalgia than annual fruit production. My grandparents had a small hobby farm when I was young — a large garden, head of cattle, a few sectioned paddocks of grazing pasture, a hayfield, a couple of crop fields, a chicken coop, a large vegetable garden, a stocked pond and a small orchard.

RELATED VIDEO: Raintree Nursery's Asian Pear Growing Guide!

There is a story about a pear enthusiast who sat up all night just for the joy of tasting a pear at the precise moment of perfect ripeness. I only hope that he was still able to enjoy it in his exhausted state! They make a fine tree with beautiful blossom for cheering up a dull lawn, or they can be trained against a wall or grown in containers. European pears Pyrus communis fall into three categories: culinary, dessert, and perry pears. Perry pears are the best kind for making a dry pear cider, which was once regarded as equal to the finest of wines.

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Whether you create your own mini-orchard, or choose to grow a tree in a pot, pear trees are fun to grow and can provide years of fresh, juicy homegrown fruit. Choose an open, sunny position for your pear tree. It is a good idea to find out how big the tree is going to grow to ensure it will have enough room. Although pears can grow throughout New Zealand the flowers are susceptible to frosts and severe weather. The southern regions may not have success with pears, unless a very hardy rootstock is planted. They flower earlier than apples, so check conditions in the area and when the cold weather finishes after winter.

Comparing apples and pears is proverbial, so you need to decide whether you would rather plant the one or other type of fruit. But of course you can also plant both on your balcony providing you have enough space! What may restrict your freedom of choice is that pears need more warmth and light than apples. Optimal fruit quality only occurs in very sunny, sheltered locations.