Pear tree is the most common fruit tree in many orchards.
Key Pear tree facts
Height – 16 to 50 feet (5 to 15 meters)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – ordinary
Blooming: spring – Harvest: summer-fall (species) – Lifespan: 30-80 years
Pruning and planting are all practices that, if well performed, will increase pear harvest.
- Health: benefits of pear
Planting a pear tree
This fruit tree, like most trees, is best planted in fall to favor root development before winter.
- Pear trees like well-drained ground.
- It needs sun to bear fruits.
- Adding fertilizer upon planting such as manure and seaweed will help your pear tree to take root and grow.
- Find our advice on planting.
Pruning and caring for pear tree
In order to guide the tree into producing many beautiful pears, it is important to perform a fruit-inducing pruning before spring growth has started.
- Annual pruning will ensure that you will get a better pear harvest.
- Look up the different steps of a pear tree’s pruning cycle.
Harvesting and keeping pears
When should pears be harvested? This is a common question, because it is sometimes difficult to determine the best moment.
Actually, if you twist them a quarter of a turn and that they detach without needing any further effort, then you know the right time to harvest the pears has come.
Once the pears have been collected, the goal now is to store them in the best possible environment to keep them as long as possible.
- Read our article on how to keep pears.
Pear tree diseases
Pear trees, like most fruit trees, are vulnerable to several common diseases, especially fungus.
One of the most common pear tree diseases is scab.
Pear tree scab
If a scab infection appears at the end of the fruiting cycle, damage is limited. Perhaps only a slight discoloration of the pears may be observed. The harvest is not lost, but it is less sure that pears will keep for long.
However, if scab appears early in the season, it is recommend to treat it in order to stop the spread of the disease. An early onslaught of scab may hinder pear development and compromise the harvest.
- A regular application of fermented stinging nettle tea as soon as buds have formed can prevent scab altogether.
- Spraying with Bordeaux mixture also protects against the spread of scab.
- There are a number of efficient chemical scab-fighting fungicides, both preventive or curative, but it is best to use them only once scab has already invaded the pear tree.
- Do not treat if you are only a few weeks from harvest.
- At the end of the season, gather all the leaves and destroy them to avoid letting scab hibernate in your garden over the winter.
- Read our page dedicated to fighting scab.
Rotting pears, European brown rot
Another common infection of pear trees is European brown rot, where Monilinia fungus is active. This fungus can cause extensive damage and it is preferable to prevent it altogether.
- Similar treatments to those for fighting scab are recommended.
- Fermented horsetail tea also produces very positive results against European brown rot.
- Read our page dedicated to fighting European brown rot and rotting fruits.
Insects and parasites – Aphids, scale insects…
- Here is how to fight aphids.
- Here is how to fight scale insects.
- Set up pheromone traps in the tree
- A collar of sticky glue wrapped around the trunk protects the tree from many insects that would otherwise set up shop in the tree and on its leaves.
- Wasp becomes common if a few pears are overripe.
Other key pear tree diseases
- Powdery mildew – white velvet covers leaves.
- Codling moths or fruit worm – brown stains on leaves and fruits.
- Rust – brownish-orange lesions appear on the underside of leaves.
Learn more about pear trees
Pear trees bloom as soon as April, and produce marvelous little white flowers, sometimes pink, that bees are drawn to in spring.
It can also be found in the wild, in our garden as , or in large orchards for commercial pear production.
- Some pear tree varieties are planted for their beauty. Even if their fruits aren’t good at all, they’re still very ornamental. One such species is the Bradford pear.
Smart tip about the pear tree
During planting, mulch the foot of your tree to protect it from from freezing.
Repeat this operation every year, you’ll avoid both weed growth and using products that are toxic for the pears you’ll be eating!