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A Guide to Planting a Pear Tree

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Pear trees have earned the love of most of gardeners over the years in several ways. They offer shade, look gorgeous, offer pretty spring blooms, and produce sweet juicy fruit during the fall for years. To read more about the tall ornamental pear trees, stay tuned in.

All about Pear trees!

Varieties:

The three main varieties of pear trees include the Callery, European and Asian, out of which the two most commonly found and grown in America are the Callery and European pear tree specimens.

  • Callery Pear trees:

These deciduous trees are medium in size. The fruit borne by these trees is great for birds but not too good for human consumption. Callery trees are more likely to serve ornamental purposes. Common cultivars include Bradford, Aristocrat, Autumn Blaze, Capital, Chanticleer etc.

  • European Pear trees:

European pear trees are widely grown in North America. Although they are less hardy, yet they require pretty cool climates to set buds and are well-suited to cold areas. The fruits yielded by these trees are consumed fresh and are also used for canning and preservation purposes. Common cultivars include Bosc and Harrow Sweet.

  • Asian Pear Trees:

Less common in the USA, these deciduous trees produce excellently sweet juicy pears. However, they are not heat-tolerate and thrive best in cool to moderately warm temperatures. Some common cultivars are Hosui, Kosui, apple-pears etc.

Size & Shape:

A standard mature pear tree bears an average height of 30 feet and a width of 20 feet. However, this height largely varies with the cultivar for example, the ‘Capital’ is 25 to 30 feet tall, whereas ‘Bradford’ is 30 to 50 feet tall. Naturally, pear trees are narrower (taller) and have a pyramidal shape i.e. these trees tend to grow in an upward direction rather than in an outward direction.

A rounder crown is, however, observed in older pear trees whose branches take an angular movement instead of growing straight up. To train your young pear trees similarly, pruning them regularly can help.

Climatic Requirements:

Pear trees generally need a cool wet environment to thrive, where winters are cold, and summers are moderately cool. Most pear varieties would need about 400-800 hours of fine cold temperatures (below 7 C) to produce fruit. In other cases, some varieties might want 1500 or more cold hours or, on the contrary, less than 150 cold hours only for a handsome fruit set.

The resilience, adaptability, and careful selection of breeding varieties among pears can enable these trees to grow in warmer climates too. However, this is better practiced at a commercial level only with professional pollination, irrigation, fertilization, pruning, and other caretaking exercises.

Bloom:

Pear trees are the first fruit trees to bloom during spring in the US. These trees begin to bloom anytime from late February to the mid of April. Once the bloom comes in, a little warmth, with light winds and rain will take the blossom to its magnificent peak lasting for two weeks.

Interestingly, pear trees, at times, are so quick at blooming that early spring frosts might even damage or kill their blossoms. Pear trees sustain abundant small white pinkish flowers that perfume the air with their fragrant aroma.

Fruit Bearing:

Pear trees are deciduous and begin flowering any time between 3 to 10 years after they have been planted. Some precocious varieties may begin flowing and fruiting a little earlier such as Harrow Sweet, Anjou etc.

However, in their initial stages of fruiting, the fruit crop will be less. As the tree matures, the fruit crop is likely to increase. Pear trees typically take five to seven years before they can yield a full fruit crop.

But as they say, patience pays back; in the case of pear trees, it surely does. Once pear trees start fruiting sufficiently, they are likely to offer back-to-back crops for good 75 years. Must know, each pear tree can offer up to 90 kgs (150 – 200 pounds) of juicy tasty pears per year.

What makes Pear trees so unique? 

Pear trees are one of the most prolific trees you’d ever choose to grow in your yard – they are long-living, resilient, yield plentiful fruits every year and have ornamental blossoms all year long. They look breathtakingly beautiful during spring when the bloom is in full swing. Summers have a fresh appeal when pear trees are jammed together with lots of rich green leaves. Later, when they bear fruits, they look lusciously rich with abundant fruits dangling down their slender branches.

And not to miss mentioning, fall goes out with a stunning warm-toned foliage ranging from golden yellow to crimson red. The overwhelming beauty of pear trees can accent your yard all around the year – with succulent fruits, delicate flowers, verdant leaves, and warm yellow foliage.

Where to plant a Pear tree?

While choosing a place to plant pear trees, a few easy tips must be borne in mind for sustained growth. These tips are as follows.

  • Pear trees thrive the best in well-drained loamy soils. Pears prefer slightly acidic soil, having a pH level of 5.9 to 6.5.
  • The ideal site you can offer to your pretty pear tree is a sunny sheltered site that achieves full sunlight (about six to eight hours a day). However, as pear trees are not heat-resistant, make sure the temperature is not too hot for them to dry out or burn.
  • Avoid planting these trees in frost pockets. Temperatures below 7 C or unseasonable frosts can damage them severely.
  • Pear trees are not generally self-pollinating and will require another variety planted nearby to cross-pollinate. Spacing for pear trees should be no less than 15 feet, and not even more than 20 feet, as they need to pollinate to bear fruit.
  • These trees tend to grow narrower and taller i.e. upright straight. However, older pear trees can be expected to grow outward with time. If not spaced sufficiently, the widespread branches of these trees can turn out to be problematic. Younger trees can also be trained to grow sideways by regular pruning.

Facts you did not know about Pear trees!

  • More than 3000 varieties of pears are grown around the world.
  • Pears are believed to be harvested for the first time in China in 1134 B.C. However, the first-ever pear tree of North America was planted back in 1620 in the Bay Colony, Massachusetts.
  • In addition to pears, pear tree has a lot more to offer. Before the introduction of tobacco, pear leaves were smoked.
  • The wood that comes from pear trees is fine enough to be used in the making of musical instruments, wooden decorative pieces, and other furniture items.
  • USA is one of the largest pear growers around the world. Most of the pears sold around the US (almost 95%) come from the west coast in Washington, Northern California, and Oregon.

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