Many gardeners want to experience growing a little of everything, from flowers to vegetables to fruits and trees. Sometimes space doesn't allow for as much as you would like to grow and you have to be selective. Combining a pear tree with your garden choices has its advantages and disadvantages. Consider the possibilities carefuly before addig a pear tree to your garden.
Whether you are growing the pear tree for fruit or for ornamental reasons such as shade or the spring blooms, pear trees can be a beneficial part of your landscape. Dwarf pear trees can give you beauty, fruit and space. Full-size trees provide ample shade and a larger crop if you have planted a fruiting variety.
Pears tend to bloom early in the spring and the blossoms and subsequent fruit can be destroyed by a late frost, negating the tree's value that year. Depending on the size of the garden and the placement of the pear tree, the shade afforded by its presence may severely limit the choice of plants that can thrive in the garden. Falling fruit can be a nuisance to clean up from the garden but it must be done to void overwintering insects and diseases that live in rotting fruit. Many fruit-bearing pear trees need a second tree to pollinate with. This may not be feasible.
Pear trees can exist in many soil types but do best in sandy soils with a pH range of 6.0 to 6.5. This can also be a limiting factor in what can be planted in close proximity to the tree. Not all plants thrive in sandy soil or that pH range. You may be sacrificing the tree for the plants or vice versa unless you can find compatible plants. Pear trees also draw a lot of nutrients and water from the soil as their roots spread out. Your garden may have to compete.
Pears are susceptible to fire blight, a bacterial disease spread by splashing rain and insects such as bees and grasshoppers. It causes an ooze to erupt from branches and later causes leaves, branches and fruit to shrivel and blacken as though scorched. It can be spread to other trees and shrubs putting other parts of the garden potentially at risk.
Pear trees are often hosts to insects that can damage other plants as well. Aphids, scales and spider mites are just a few and they can easily move to surrounding plants. Once they are present in the pear tree, the entire garden will need to be treated to prevent their spread. Insecticidal soaps work for these insects on pear trees. Check to be sure they are safe to use on other plants before applying.