Caring for pear trees — tips for a high-yield harvest

What types of pears are there?

In addition to the old pear varieties, there are a large number of new varieties that have arisen through breeding and selection. The best known is the Williams Christmas pear, this type of pear has been in gardens and plantations since 1770. In addition, there is the ‘Roten Williams Christ’, the dark red variant of the well-known classic.

Williams Christ

  • Classics in the range
  • sweet and spicy taste, noble aroma
  • melting pulp
  • excellent for canning and burning, good pollen donor
  • Ripe from mid-August, can be stored for 2 weeks

Clapp’s favorite

  • fire blight tolerant
  • sweet aroma
  • firm pulp
  • large fruit, short shelf life, tree is a good pollinator for other varieties
  • ripe from the end of August

Good Louise

  • Fruit partly colored red
  • sweet and sour and juicy flesh
  • melting pulp
  • Can be stored until January, good for drying
  • Ready for picking in early to mid-September

Harrow Sweet (s)

  • fire blight resistant, only commercially available since 1991
  • good taste with a fine, sweet aroma
  • firm pulp
  • already bears fruit as a young tree, versatile in use

Ripe in early to mid-September, ready to eat, can be kept for 10 to 14 days from early October

Useful information Location Planting Care Watering Fertilizing Pruning Species Pests & Diseases FAQ

The cultivated pear descends from the wood pear and other wild forms. It has been known for several thousand years and many of today’s varieties have been cultivated since the 18th century. A pear tree in the garden already shows its best side in spring with white blossoms, some of which change to pink. After the apple, the genus known as Pyrus communis is the second most important type of fruit.

The flesh is softer and sweeter than the apple. Also, most pears should be eaten or processed immediately after harvest. Only the so-called autumn and winter varieties are only ready to eat after a long period of storage, ie they are soft and full of flavor. The popular ‘Williams Christ’ pear is known as a fruit brandy, sometimes with fruit in the bottle. However, the aromatic type is also suitable as table fruit or preserves.

Useful information Location Planting Care Watering Fertilizing Pruning Species Pests & Diseases FAQ

Matching products – buy pear tree

Interesting facts about pear trees

Botanical name: Pyrus communis
Other names: pome fruit
Use: tree for orchards, allotments and home gardens, ideal for solitary plant, as a plant for insects, fruit for processing into juice, puree, dried fruit, schnapps, fruit brandy, liqueur, cider and direct consumption
Origin: southern Europe, Asia Minor
Flower colors: white, light pink Leaves
: dark green, oval to ovoid, felty hairs on both sides
Special features:A second variety is needed to pollinate the flowers. This can also be at a distance. Pollen is carried by bees. It is important that you prune your pear tree regularly. For the small garden there is the columnar pear tree and the dwarf form.

In which location does the pear tree feel most comfortable?

Pear trees thrive in a warm, full sun and sheltered spot. A spot close to the house or against a wall facing east or south is ideal. The wall stores the heat and gradually releases it. Pears need a slightly warmer location than apple trees. It is important that the soil is moist but well drained, because waterlogging is not tolerated.

The right location and sufficient sunlight are essential factors for a rich harvest. In the partially shaded location, the fruits are smaller and ripen more slowly. The pH of the soil should be between 6 and 7. In calcareous soils, nutrients may not be available to the fruit tree and chlorosis may occur.

Our gardening tip: Make sure you leave enough space for the tree. Usually 2 to 3 square meters are needed per plant. So-called columnar and dwarf forms are suitable for small gardens and terraces.


Pear trellis — the ideal place for pear trees is close to the house or a wall

How to plant a pear tree in the garden?

The following must be observed when planting:

  • First loosen the soil deeply and free it from weeds.
  • Water the shrub thoroughly before planting.
  • Dig a planting hole that is at least one and a half times as deep and wide as the root ball.
  • Loosen the soil in the planting hole with a digging fork and add 2 to 3 handfuls of potting soil to the planting hole.
  • Put root power, the organic natural fertilizer and soil activator, in the planting hole.
  • Then place the potted plant upright in the planting hole and fill in the free space with a mixture of potting soil and excavation.
  • Finally, step on the potting soil with your foot to close the existing cavities.
  • Finally, pour in 15 to 20 liters of water.
  • Depending on the base and growth form, a wooden post is attached to hold it.
  • If you plant several trees, please make sure that there is sufficient distance between them.
  • To protect against evaporation and to improve the soil, you can cover the freshly planted wood with a layer of mature compost.
  • Finally, a pruning can be carried out.

Our gardening tip: When planting, make sure that the grafting point (tuber-like thickening at the base of the trunk) is approx. 5 to 10 cm above the ground. The grafting point should not be covered with soil after setting. The best times for planting are late summer, fall and spring. However, container goods can be planted all year round provided the ground is not frozen.

How do I properly care for my pear tree?

In the first few years after planting, need-based watering is the most important care measure. When it is dry, the young plants suffer and only a few new shoots are formed. Pear trees are shallow-rooted. It is therefore important that young specimens have little competition from weeds.

Shallow chopping will aerate the area around the trunk. Then a thin layer of lawn clippings, compost or bark mulch can be applied. Moisture is stored better by mulching and soil life is activated. It is good for the development of the crown if you shape the tree just before it sprouts. The situation with Pyrus is similar to that of the apple tree: even without pruning, the wood grows well and bears fruit. However, if too little is cut, fruit size and quality suffer.

How do I water my pear tree properly?

Especially in the first 2 to 3 years after planting, the newly planted trees need a little more attention. Watering may be necessary in phases without significant precipitation. Basically, the water requirement depends on the precipitation and the soil conditions. On light sandy soil it is important that the young trees are watered from time to time. If you planted the leafless tree in autumn or spring, the need is much lower than if you planted in May. Needs -based watering is important in the first year after planting.

This means that additional watering is required during phases without precipitation. We recommend 10 to 20 liters per tree per watering. Larger amounts at a greater distance are better than frequent small waterings, because this is the only way to moisten the roots and stimulate them to grow. However, always water depending on rainfall and temperature. If your pear tree is rooted and in its 3rd or 4th year, additional watering is only necessary in phases of extreme drought or on extremely light soil. Waterlogging should be avoided.

Our gardening tip: A thin layer of perennial and rose mulch or compost reduces evaporation and weed growth. It is also recommended to sow marigolds (marigolds) or nasturtiums on the so-called tree disc.

How do I properly fertilize my pear tree?

Basically, a pear tree is very frugal and grows without high amounts of nutrients. However, fertilizer is necessary for the formation of fruit wood, flowers and a rich fruit load. Put root power in the planting hole when planting and provide the pear with the most important nutrients. This also stimulates root formation and thus enables a good start. The wood can absorb the nutrients depending on the temperature and humidity.

From the 2nd year, fertilization takes place in spring (March to May) with organic garden fertilizer and a second maintenance fertilization with organic natural fertilizer in summer (July to August). It is important that the pear tree does not receive large amounts of nitrogen too late in the year, because the wood should mature in order to get through the winter well. If necessary, fertilize with Autumn Fertilizer Winter-Fit to strengthen the plants.

This special fertilizer mainly contains high-quality potassium, which strengthens the plant and minimizes frost damage. Do without purely mineral fertilizers in your home garden. High yields are mainly due to proper pruning and not high doses of fertilizer. Fruit trees that have been fertilized too much do not produce better crops and are more susceptible to diseases.
Our gardening tip: By using organic-mineral fertilizers, you promote soil life and the most important nutrients are available to the fruit trees as needed.

How do I prune my pear tree?

A light crown is important for the fruit size and ripening of the pears. Therefore, a correct cut is essential. By pruning, you encourage the pear tree to form young fruit wood and remove dead wood and competing shoots. The pruning takes place from the second year in early spring (so-called winter pruning). By removing excess branches, the crown becomes lighter and the fruit tree retains a harmonious shape.

Well-ventilated canopies are less susceptible to disease. Basically, the pruning of the fruit tree depends on the age of the Pyrus and the type of training (spindle, half-stem, trellis or standard). If thicker branches are removed from old fruit trees, a wound closure helps to promote wound healing. For espalier fruit, cut off the shoots covering the fruit in summer. This improves the coloring and ripening. When cutting the pear tree, it is important to use sharp cutting tools in order to be able to make a smooth cut and not crush the wood.

The following will be removed in the cut:

  • old and diseased branches
  • inward growing branches and competition
  • Water shoots (vertical shoots on the top of mostly flat branches)

Pruning goal for the pear tree: construction of a light crown with trunk extension, main branches, side branches and fruit wood. You can also cut old and neglected trees and, with a bit of luck, expect fruit in the coming year.

What growth forms are there in the pear tree?


Red Williams Christmas pear

Traditionally, fruit trees are divided into three classic growth forms:

  • bush
  • half stem
  • standard

The pear tree consists of a rootstock and a pear variety. In addition to the height of the grafting point, the rootstock is responsible for the growth form and vigour. It is important that you consider how much space you have when choosing your own pear tree. For tubs there are special dwarf forms or columnar pears that only grow a little and are space-saving. Standard trees should be planted in meadow orchards or in large plots of land. The bush is ideal for the home garden.

What types of pears are there?

In addition to the old pear varieties, there are a large number of new varieties that have arisen through breeding and selection. The best known is the Williams Christmas pear, this type of pear has been in gardens and plantations since 1770. In addition, there is the ‘Roten Williams Christ’, the dark red variant of the well-known classic.

Williams Christ Clapp’s favorite Good Louise Harrow Sweet (s) Classics in the range fire blight tolerant Fruit partly colored red fire blight resistant, only commercially available since 1991 sweet and spicy taste, noble aroma

What pests and diseases can the pear tree get?

With the right site conditions, Pyrus communis are robust plants. Malnourished or weakened plants are susceptible to diseases and pests. There are no typical problems that cause major damage . Conspicuous features of the fruit can be:

pear grating:

The rust fungus shows up on the leaves with orange spots. The fungus overwinters in juniper plants and transmits the spores in early summer if the weather is suitable. When the first infestation occurs, remove the affected leaves and treat them with organic plant treatment. In the event of a massive infestation, the host plant (juniper) must be removed.

pearpox mibe

Brownish, sometimes felt-like, slightly convex discolorations appear on the leaves. The damage is similar to pear scab. The first infestation is already visible shortly after sprouting. The regrowing shoots are also affected. Most pear trees tolerate the infestation and there is no lasting damage. Nevertheless, the pear tree is weakened and you should counteract this with so-called sprouting sprays.

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about Pyrus communis

What happens if I don’t prune the pear tree?

Even without pruning, your tree will flower and you can expect a good harvest. However, after several years without a topiary, the branches become more and more dense and there is a lack of light inside the crown. The result is that less fruit hangs on the tree and the fruit size becomes smaller and smaller. Good quality can only be achieved through regular cutting. If you missed the right time and didn’t cut, you can make slight corrections with a summer cut.

When is the right time to harvest?

Basically, the time of harvest varies depending on the variety. You can harvest from mid-August to the end of October. Some varieties can be eaten straight away, others need storage until they are juicy and aromatic. With these autumn pears, a distinction is made between ripeness for picking and ripeness for consumption.

What can be the reason that Pyrus communis bears little fruit?

Low yields can be a result of late frosts, bad weather during the flowering period, a lack of pollinators or too few insects. Even if you cut too hesitantly, too little fruit wood will be formed. The fruit tree also bears less fruit in shady locations.

What is the famous Birnbaum poem?

Herr von Ribbeck on Ribbeck in Havelland, A pear tree stood in his garden, And the golden autumn season came, And the pears shone far and wide, Then, when midday rang out from the tower, Ribbeck stuffed both pockets full, And arrived in clogs Boy, so he called: «Boy, do you want a beer?» And when a girl came, he called: «Lütt Dirn, Kumm man röwer, I’ll have a pear.»

 

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