Growing D’Anjou Pears: How To Care For A D’Anjou Pear Tree
D’ANJOU PEAR TREE CARE
The following are some of the most common questions asked by new or experienced growers about growing d’anjou pears. These are the main issues which must be considered when selecting a suitable location for your new pear tree.
How big should my pear tree be?
Pears are small fruits with a large amount of pulp. They need space to develop properly so they don’t become overripe and rot before reaching their full potential. If you want to maximize the number of fruit produced, it’s best if your tree is at least 2m tall (6ft) and 3m wide (9ft).
If you’re looking for a smaller tree, try 1m high (3ft), 4m long (12ft) and 3m wide (9ft).
What type of soil should I use? What other plants will I get along side it?
A good quality potting mix will provide enough room for your tree to expand without becoming too crowded. You’ll probably want to add some compost or manure as well.
Most types of soil can support pear trees, but one thing you definitely want to avoid is clay. This type of soil doesn’t allow water to drain properly and you’ll end up with a very sick tree or even dead one.
Pears like to be in large groups with other trees and plants. Because they are wind pollinated, it’s best if these companions are within reach.
Examples of good planting companions are:
Try to avoid trees which drop lots of nuts or berries as these can attract rats and other pests, which can seriously harm your pear tree. Pears do especially well when mixed with apricots.
Why does my d’anjou pear tree have pointy leaves?
Some types of d’anjou have leaves which point upwards, while others have leaves which droop down. This is a genetic trait known as “pinnate” and is a reliable way of telling the difference between anjou and another popular Asian pear called the “Bartlett”.
The leaves of a bartlett pear are always drooping. Its flowers are pink and it has a much more rounded shape than the d’anjou.
This is why it’s also sometimes known as the “batard” pear.
Can I grow a d’anjou in a smaller pot?
Your tree should be in a pot which is at least 30cm (12in) in diameter and 30cm deep. If the roots start growing out of the bottom of the pot, you’ll need to move up to the next size.
Why isn’t my d’anjou pear tree growing?
If your tree hasn’t grown at all in a year it probably has an illness and you’ll need to take action immediately. Overwatering can also have this effect so make sure you allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
If your tree is growing but the growth is very slow, it probably isn’t getting enough light. If this is the case you will need to move it into a brighter spot.
This can happen if you have tall plants or a fence nearby which shades your tree.
I’ve just noticed that my tree’s leaves are turning yellow?
It’s normal for some of your tree’s older leaves to turn yellow and fall off. However, if you notice that the entire leaf is yellow (not just the edges) this is a sign that your tree is getting too much water or not enough nutrients.
Water it less often and fertilize it more in the future. You can also try giving it a good mulch around the base of its trunk to stop the water from evaporating so quickly.
My d’anjou pear tree has lumps growing on the trunk!
What is it?
These are “suckers”. These growths pop up in the leaf-bases and grow straight upwards. They don’t have any branches and don’t produce fruit. In fact, it’s best if you cut them off as they can weaken the tree’s structure. Just use some pruning shears and nip them off.
Why are my leaves dropping and my tree looking sickly?
This could be due to one of two things. Either there’s not enough light or there’s too much water. Get a leaf (if you can find one) and check if it’s yellow. If it is, this means the tree isn’t getting enough nutrients. Your soil may simply not be rich enough. You’ll need to get some fertilizer and mix it into the soil. Follow the instructions on the packet for how much to add.
It’s also possible that the air around the tree is too damp. If your tree is in a room which regularly gets steamy (such as the kitchen) then Dampness can build up around the tree and prevent the air around it from “circling”.
The best way to rectify this is to make sure there are some airholes in the bottom of the pot so that air can circulate down into it. You may also want to try moving the tree to a different spot.
Also make sure you never water your tree during the night or early in the morning. This is because at night time the air is heavier and if you water then, it will simply all drip back out of the pot.
The best time to water is in the afternoon as by then the air will have had a chance to circulate and “lift” the water up into the pot.
My tree has begun to grow these “side arms” off the sides of the trunk.
Is this normal?
Yes, it is perfectly normal for this to happen. As your tree gets older it will often send out “sidelings” which will then grow into small trees. If you want to you can separate these off and grow them up into a new plant.
My d’anjou pear tree has dropped some of its bottom leaves!
There are two reasons this may happen. Either the tree is getting too much water or not enough light.
If the soil is staying waterlogged, it will cause the roots to rot, which in turn will cause the leaves to fall off. Make sure you water the plant in the morning so that the ground has a chance to dry out before nightfall.
Also make sure you don’t water it too much.
The other reason is that the tree doesn’t get enough light. It needs at least five or six hours of direct sunlight each day.
If this is the case, try moving it to a sunnier spot.
One of my d’anjou pears has a little worm crawling on it!
Is it safe to eat?
Yes. These are known as “fruitworms” and are perfectly safe to eat. In fact they’re a bit of a delicacy! Just make sure you pick the little blighters off before you eat them.
I think my d’anjou has some kind of disease! The leaves are all curling up and the tips are turning brown.
This sounds like something known as “African Pest”, a type of virus which affects pear trees. There’s no cure, I’m afraid, and the tree will soon die.
Cut off the branches at the point where they became diseased and plant a new tree in its place.
I have a nectarine tree and a few of the branches have these little holes in them. The holes are about the size of a 5 pence piece.
What could be causing this?
This is very strange, indeed. It sounds like your tree is being attacked by something, but I’m not sure what.
Have you recently brought any new plants into the house?
Sometimes these can carry bugs which can attack a tree.
No, I haven’t brought anything in here. We’re pretty careful about things like that.
It’s probably nothing to worry about, then. Just keep an eye on the tree and, if the holes start getting bigger, then you’ll need to do something about it quickly.
One of my peach trees seems to be dying! The leaves are all dry and crispy and it’s just plain yellow instead of the nice green it used to be.
It sounds like you need to water it. Peaches are very thirsty plants and, if they don’t get enough water, they’ll quickly start to die.
Make sure you give it lots of water. It should also be in a sunny spot. Peaches love the sun.
My flowers have little insects crawling around on them!
Should I do something about it?
No, these are probably just pollinating insects which are flying from flower to flower. If you didn’t have these insects around your crops would never get pollinated and you’d never have any fruit or vegetables!
I have some plants outside which have ripe fruit on them.
Should I bring them inside before the birds get them?
Definitely. If you leave the fruit out there, the birds will eat it all before you can get to it! Just bring it inside and you can eat as much as you want. Although, once the fruit’s been picked, it does start to quickly go off so don’t over-indulge!
This is quite a big house for just two people, isn’t it?
It is indeed. And a lot of work, too!
Sources & references used in this article:
Vegetative growth control of apple and pear trees with ICI PP333 (Paclobutrazol) a chemical analog of Bayleton. by MW Williams, LJ Edgerton – 1982 – actahort.org
Influence of culture media and environmental factors on mycelial growth and pycnidial production of Sphaeropsis pyriputrescens by YK Kim, CL Xiao, JD Rogers – Mycologia, 2005 – Taylor & Francis
Recycling of nitrogen in field-grown ‘Cornice’pears by EE Sanchez, TL Righetti, D Sugar… – Journal of Horticultural …, 1991 – Taylor & Francis
Use of bioregulators to control vegetative growth of fruit trees and improve fruiting efficiency by MW Williams – … Workshop on Controlling Vigor in Fruit Trees 146, 1983 – actahort.org