How to Fertilize a Pear Tree


Pear trees, known botanically as Pyrus communis and Pyrus pyrifolia, are deciduous trees that produce fruit with seeded cores. Compared to other pomme fruit trees, such as apple and quince, or stone fruit trees like cherry and apricot, pear trees are light feeders, according to the University of Arizona. A general rule of thumb is to apply half of the amount of fertilizer to pear trees that you would apply to the same age and size of a stone fruit tree.

Step 1

Fertilize your pear tree once each year in early spring, either February or March, beginning in its second year after planting.

Step 2

Follow the dosing recommendation on the fertilizer product label for your age and size of pear tree. Do not exceed an application rate of more than 1/2 lb. of nitrogen fertilizer, per tree, per year.

Step 3

Hand cast the fertilizer around the root zone of the tree with gloved hands. Start the fertilizer roughly 10-inches to 1 foot out from the trunk and extend to 1 foot beyond the drip line of the canopy.

Step 4

Rake the fertilizer gently and evenly into the top few inches of soil, being careful not to gouge so deep that the shallow roots are disturbed.

Step 5

Water the fertilizer into the soil evenly over the entire application area, drenching the soil down to at least 1 foot to speed the nutrients into the root zone.

Things You'll Need

  • Complete organic or synthetic fertilizer 13-13-13 or 10-10-10
  • Garden gloves
  • Rake


  • University of Arizona: Fertilizing Fruit Trees
  • Mississippi State University Extension: Fertilizing Fruit Trees
  • University of Georgia: Pears
Keywords: fertilizing pear trees, pomme fruit trees, pear fertilizer requirements

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.