Caring for and planting service pear

The pear belongs to the rose family (Rosaceae) and is also known as Amelanchier. The genus Amelanchier includes over 20 species, all of whose fruits are edible. In spring, the woods delight with an exuberant abundance of flowers and in autumn the leaves take on a picturesque colour. The deciduous tree keeps its leaves for a long time and is therefore decorative for months.

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Worth knowing about the service pear

Botanical name: Amelanchier alnifolia, Amelanchier laevis, Amelanchier lamarckii
Other names: service pear, large-fruited service pear, copper service pear, service service pear, common service pear
Use: wild fruit, ornamental wood, bird feeder, bee pasture, autumn colour, topiary, wild wood corner, flowering hedge
Origin: North America, Europe, Asia
Flower colours: white, in great abundance
Flowering period: April, May
Special features: undemanding wood, delights with picturesque growth without pruning

Which location does Amelanchier feel most at home in?

The wild fruit prefers nutrient-rich, loosely humus-rich soil without waterlogging. However, the ornamental shrub is quite undemanding and thrives on almost any surface. Rock pear trees are robust and survive longer periods of heat and every winter. You can improve light sandy soil when planting with high-quality potting soil, with heavy clay soil a drainage layer helps against too much water. Sunny locations are ideal for a rich fruit set, partial shade is also possible.

How do I plant my service pear in the garden?

As long as the ground is not frozen, you can plant amelanchiers all year round. Planting in spring and early summer is ideal. This gives the plants enough time to root and they are well prepared for the first winter.

Plant service pear in 5 steps:

  • Dig a planting hole twice the size and depth of the plant’s root ball.
  • For soil that tends to compact, place a thin drainage layer of gravel or sand in the planting hole.
  • Water the ornamental shrub thoroughly before planting.
  • Place the root ball in the planting hole and fill it up with high-quality potting soil.
  • Water the new planting with 20 liters of water.

Our gardening tip: Put a dose of Kölle’s Beste starter fertilizer for trees, shrubs and hedges in the planting hole when planting. In addition to organic and mineral nutrients, this special fertilizer also contains clay minerals, which optimally support the wood during the growth phase and ensure the basic supply.

How do I water my service pear in the garden?

Immediately after planting, you should water the young Amelanchier regularly. With need-based watering, you support the wood until it has established itself at the site. From the 2nd year of growth, the bushes usually get enough rain. However, if it does not rain for many weeks, you should give 10 to 20 liters of water per specimen. If the tree is firmly rooted, additional watering is only necessary on extremely light soils and in phases without any precipitation. Basically , larger amounts of water given at intervalshelp better than daily small gifts. Watering is necessary for fruit development, especially in hot summers. If the shrub suffers, it can trickle down and the individual fruits are smaller. To minimize evaporation, you can spread a thin layer of mulch around the wood. This keeps the water in the soil better and activates soil life.

Our gardening tip: with their picturesque growth, service pears can also be kept as container plants. Watering is necessary here all year round. The root ball must never dry out, especially in summer, but there must never be waterlogging and the container must have a water drainage hole.

How do I fertilize Amelanchier?

Rock pear grows best in nutrient-rich soil. But even without fertilizer, the wild shrubs grow, bloom and bear fruit. In order to increase the fruit yield, it is advisable to apply organic garden fertilizer in the spring before they sprout. With this purely vegetable natural fertilizer, the wood is supplied for months. In addition, you can spread well-rotted compost as mulch in the fall. This organic matter supports soil life, protects roots in winter and slowly releases nutrients.

How do I care for and prune my service pear?

Basically, the wild wood is easy to care for and requires little attention. Without pruning, the bush develops harmoniously. Only need-based watering is important. You can cut the service pear in early spring to correct its length and shape it. The valuable flowering shrub tolerates pruning well and can be grown as a topiary. Cut off dead wood and branches that are too dense. There is nothing further to consider when cutting. Treat thick branches with wound protection after cutting to prevent the penetration of fungal pathogens. Winter protection is not necessary for Amelanchier planted in the ground. Specimens in tubs should be protected from long periods of permafrostsomething to be protected.

Our gardening tip: Serviceberries are flat-rooted, so it is advisable not to chop directly in the root area. Underplanting with ground covers is possible.

How do I harvest the rock pears?

Depending on the type, variety, location and weather conditions, the wild fruit ripens from the end of July. The berries ripen gradually and can be harvested as soon as they easily separate from the bush. Note that the berries are dark red to purple in color. If necessary, protective nets are necessary so that the harvest is not left to the birds. Fresh, the wild fruit is suitable for fruit salad, smoothies or muesli. The berries are ideal for making jam or liqueur or for baking in cakes.

Recipes with pear pear

Here you can find delicious recipe ideas and find out how you can use rock pears, for example. Our recipes are easy to follow. Enjoy your meal!

To the recipes

What types and varieties does Amelanchier have?

In addition to the copper pear (Amelanchier lamarckii), which is copper-red when it sprout and bright yellow, orange to red in autumn, the large-fruited pear (Amelanchier alnifolia) is particularly interesting as a wild fruit for the home garden. The ‘ Smoky’ variety is a large-fruited selection whose berries are the size of peas and are black-purple in color in July. They are characterized by a special sweetness with juicy flesh. The ‘ Nothline’ variety is particularly attractive, with its slender growth, early flowering and delicious fruits. Finally, the insect- and bird-friendly wood will please you with its enchanting autumn colors. With the column shapes ‘ Obelisk’ or ‘Rainbow Pillar’ allows you to enjoy the fascinating wild fruit in your garden even if space is limited. Both varieties are extremely slender and fit perfectly into the home garden.

Which pests and diseases can the service pear get?

With optimal site conditions, Amelanchier are easy to care for and healthy. Occasionally it can come to infestation with powdery mildew, but this is not a big deal.

A mealy-white coating is particularly visible on the upper side of the leaf. This can be wiped off and can develop into a brown fungus coating. The leaf turns brown and falls off. Usually it is only an optical problem and the wild wood tolerates the infestation. Dispose of infested parts of the plant with the household waste and strengthen the shrub with Kölle’s Beste Powerdünger or Kölle’s Pflanzenkur. Both increase resistance and make the leaf harder and therefore less susceptible to fungal diseases.


FAQ — Frequently asked questions about the pear pear


autumn coloring

Can Amelanchier be planted as a hedge?

The shrubs are ideal for hedge planting. Depending on your preference, the pear can be planted in a wild hedge with, for example, elder, sloe, hawthorn, privet or wild roses, or as a pure hedge.

How are Amelanchiers propagated?

The common method of propagation are sinkers. For this purpose, a sufficiently long shoot close to the ground is dug into the ground. The tip of the shoot should look out of the ground. As soon as new roots are formed on the wood, the new plant can be separated from the mother plant. The fruit varieties are mainly propagated by grafting. Propagation by seeds is possible with service pear, but takes quite a long time. Some species also tend to produce stolons that can be used for propagation.

Why are pear pear recommended?

Amelanchiers are rich in pollen and nectar and as early flowering plants they are the first food sources for bees and other insects after winter.

Are Amelanchiers Poisonous?

The sweet fruits are very tasty when ripe. They contain vitamins, minerals and tannic acid. The leaves and seeds contain small amounts of glycosides. Consuming large amounts can cause nausea. However, pear berries are not poisonous.

Can service pears be kept in pots?

As an easy-care tree, Amelanchier can also be kept in large containers. You should note the following:

  • The jar must have a drainage hole.
  • Put a drainage layer on the bottom of the pot.
  • Use good quality potting soil or potting soil.
  • Make sure the soil is evenly moist.
  • If possible, use short varieties as container plants.

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