Pears are one of the most popular fruits in the world. They are very easy to grow and produce large quantities of delicious fruit. You may have seen them at your local farmers market or even at your grocery store. If not, they will soon be there! Pears are native to North America and Asia, but their range extends all over the globe (except Antarctica). Their small size makes them ideal for home gardeners.
In the United States, the sweetest pears are usually grown in California and Washington State. They are known as “California” pears because they were originally cultivated here.
Other states with good growing conditions include New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maryland and Virginia. There is a long list of other varieties such as Fuji and Gala which have been developed especially for commercial production in Japan.
The best time to plant a pear tree is between April and June when the temperatures are warm enough for germination. However, if you live in colder climates then planting during these months might be too cold.
When choosing a location for your new pear tree, it’s important to consider the soil type and drainage level. Some areas like Florida and Texas are quite dry while others like California have lots of rainfall so water should be available year round. If you live in an arid area, it would be best to plant your tree near a pond or waterway.
Preparing the hole is very important because pears have very large roots which can extend up to 100 feet underground. Dig a hole that is at least 12 inches across and 12 inches deep.
Mix some compost or rotted manure with the backfill soil and place this mixture in the bottom of the hole.
The pear trees roots should be planted deep enough that only the tips of the branches are above ground. Once this is done, fill in the remainder of the hole with the native soil you previously removed and lightly pack it down to eliminate any air pockets.
Water it thoroughly afterwards.
It is important to keep your pear tree well hydrated so water it every few days unless there has been significant rain. Soon after planting, you may need to wrap the base of the tree with burlap to prevent rats from digging around the roots.
These rats can potentially chew through the bark and kill the tree. Ants can also be a problem so be sure to keep them off.
After one growing season, your pear tree should start to produce its first blossoms. It may take a little longer for some trees.
Once they appear, you will need to thin out all but 4-6 of the fruit clusters. This is done by hand by simply snapping the “whip arms” off. You should leave approximately 6 inches between each cluster.
The fruit will typically ripen between August and September. Be sure to pick them as soon as they are ripe or they may fall to the ground and attract insects and other pests.
Sources & references used in this article:
Home garden pears by GW Krewer, PF Bertrand – 2009 – athenaeum.libs.uga.edu
Texas Pears. by GR McEachern, BG Hancock – Texas FARMER Collection, 1979 – oaktrust.library.tamu.edu
Growing Pears in the Home Orchard by S Olsen, T Roper – 2018 – digitalcommons.usu.edu
The Fruit Gardener’s Bible: A Complete Guide to Growing Fruits and Nuts in the Home Garden by L Hill, L Perry – 2012 – books.google.com
How to Grow Tree Fruits in the Home Garden by JV Patterson – 1952 – kb.osu.edu
Apples^ Cherries Pears^ Plums and Other Fruit Trees by F Blackberries, F Grapes – naldc.nal.usda.gov
Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities!: Notes from a Gloucester Garden by K Smith – 2008 – books.google.com
Dwarf fruit trees for home gardens by RL Stebbins – 1964 – ir.library.oregonstate.edu
The biology of apples and pears by JE Jackson – 2003 – books.google.com