Among fruit trees in the orchard, the pear tree has the longest lifespan, is the easiest to plant and produces fruit quickly, within two to three years. The tree and its fruit are neighbours of the apple tree, the pear tree being only less hardy, although it can withstand temperatures up to 1°F. A large orchard is not needed to have a pear tree in one’s garden. 

The botanical name is Pear Pyrus communis. It is a fruit tree that belongs to the Rosaceae family and Maloideae subfamily, along with apple trees. It blooms in spring, and when the flowers become fruit, the calyx becomes the part that contains the seeds in the centre.  It is a hardy fruit tree, able to withstand the cold to 1 ° F. However, if planted, it must be protected from very cold winds. It is the largest tree of the Maloideae family, as its height can reach 65 feet for the tallest species. It is also the fruit tree that will have the longest lifespan in an orchard. The fruits come from bee pollination, leading to the formation of anthers that will appear in spring and blossom in April – May. It is only after its white flowers bloom that the foliage begins to form.

The different pear varieties 

First of all, there are pear trees that grow in the wild. There is also an ornamental variety called the willow-leafed pear, relatively large with a height of 20 feet. Varieties that serve as rootstock for pear multiplication are the Pyrus pyraster, grown from the seeds of the common variety, the quince and the callery pear. Species that can be multiplied are numerous, the most famous of which are the ‘Conference,’ harvested in October-November and known for its keeping quality; the ‘Louise Bonne of Jersey’ gathered in September-October and characterized by small, very tasty fruit of drier, firmer flesh; the flavoured ‘Beurre-Hardy’ which can also be picked from September to October and, finally, the “Williams” which is the tastiest kind.

The method for planting pear trees 

The pear tree is generally planted in the fall. It is planted deep into previously prepared ground, the soil being of better quality when mixed with a little clay. A soil too calcareous is not a suitable choice. Planting is carried out bare root, in an area subjected to moderate heat and sunshine. If you have an orchard, it is interesting to plant several varieties in order to be able to practice different kinds of grafts for propagation. These grafts are made in the summer. For a seedling, mulch its base in winter to protect it from freezing. This should be repeated every winter season until the tree is robust. During planting, the use of a stake is required to support the small tree that is still fragile. The stake should be left there for as long as necessary, up to two or three years. The roots should be placed at a depth of about 2.5 feet. The diameter of the planting hole should be twice that size. At planting time, the ground will be prepared with a well-mixed combination of garden soil, compost, peat and a little sand. Seedlings should be planted about 6.5 feet apart.

Practical advice on pear tree maintenance 

On must regularly prune the tree to improve the fruit’s production and beauty. Several diseases can affect it. Microbes such as bacteria are quite dangerous, especially when it comes to fire blight due to Erwinia amylovora or Pseudomonas syringae. Viral diseases are common, leading to the appearance of the mosaic virus, wilting, yellowing and gravel. Insecticides are sometimes necessary to eradicate the attacking insects. Frequent fungal diseases include Monilinia fructicola and scab. Treatment is achieved with Bordeaux mixture once the leaves have fallen and the flowering has ended, heralding small fruit buds. Regular pruning is interesting in the sense that it stimulates the growth of lateral branches. The axial part of the tree must be spaced out by cutting the middle stems and twigs. This pruning takes place before spring, which is to say before the sprouting of buds in late winter. After this pruning, add a little manure to the ground to get a well-amended soil.

Related posts:

  1. Planting fruit trees
  2. Planting and maintaining a pear tree
  3. The different varieties of pears
  4. Cultivating almond trees
  5. Growing plum trees

Published in Orchard by Alexander on 04 Jul 2011