Asian pears produce fragrant white flowers and large, round fruit. They are tolerant of heat and humidity and do well in zones 4 to 9. Asian pear trees generally bloom in early to late spring and ripen by late fall. The fruit of Asian pear trees is crisper and grittier than European pears, making them ideal for cooking and for use in salads. Allowing the fruit to fully ripen on the tree with ensure the sweetest flavor possible.
Plant Asian pear trees in a sunny location with a soil pH of 6.5 to 7.5. Asian pears are large trees when mature and require at least 12 feet of open space on all sides for adequate light penetration and ventilation.
Prune your tree frequently to increase fruit production and control its size. Open up the top to increase sunlight penetration, which is important for the quality and flavor of the fruit. Remove damaged, diseased and weak branches, and cut away any branches that are rubbing against each other.
Thin your Asian pear by hand to avoid limb breakage and ensure maximum fruit size. Cut off all but two flowers per cluster. Space fruit 4 to 6 inches apart. Asian pears are very heavy fruit, and failure to thin your tree sufficiently can weaken the branches.
Fertilize established trees every one to three years, depending on overall health and fruit production. Avoid fertilizing late in the growing season. Texas A&M recommends using only 21-0-0 nitrogen fertilizer, at one pound for every inch of trunk diameter, in alkaline soils. Use a 15-5-10 fertilizer for soils with a pH below 7.5.
Remove fruit by holding it lightly in the palm of your hand and gently twisting it loose from the tree. The University of California warns that pulling the fruit from the tree can damage the stalk and the fruit.
Examine your Asian pear regularly for signs of disease, such as crown rot and fireblight. Fireblight is a common bacterial illness that affects pears, sometimes killing tender shoots and blooms. Untreated fireblight can result in tree death very rapidly, according to Michigan State University.