How to Care for Pear

Overview

Pears are deciduous fruit trees that grow in most areas of the United States. A pear tree in full bloom lights up the home landscape in the early spring and fills the pantry with a bounty of fruit in the fall. Pears require only basic care to produce fruit for many years. Cross pollination is required for most varieties, so you will need to plant two trees for fruit production. Allow them plenty of room, as mature trees can be 40 feet tall or more and up to 25 feet wide. Dwarf varieties are available if space is a problem.

Step 1

Plant your pear tree during the dormant season, between late fall and early spring. Choose a sunny, well-drained location. Soak the roots of the plant overnight before planting. Dig a hole wide enough to spread out the roots with room to spare. Make a mound of soil in the hole and spread out the roots over the mound. Fill in around the roots with soil, holding the tree upright in the hole. When the hole is about 3/4 full, water thoroughly, then finish filling the hole. Water the plant again. Make sure that the junction between the rootstock and the scion is about four inches above the soil level. If it is too low, lift the plant repeatedly to shift the soil and raise the plant.

Step 2

Stake the pear tree to a sturdy pole for the first year, tying it with cotton twine. Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the tree, but not touching the trunk.

Step 3

Water your pear tree regularly. Keep the ground around the tree from drying out completely with regular watering and a layer of organic mulch.

Step 4

Fertilize your pear tree in the spring. Use a general tree fertilizer or a fertilizer spike for fruit trees.

Step 5

Prune pear trees to open up the center of the tree and allow in light. Select three to five well-placed branches to become the main branches. During the first winter, cut these branches back to 1 1/2 to two feet. During the second and third years, cut these branches back to two or three feet of new growth. After the third year, prune the tree to remove ill-placed branches and to open up the tree to light. In all years, remove dead and damaged limbs and remove suckers that grow up from the base of the tree.

Step 6

Pick the pears when they are full size but still green. Lift the fruit horizontal to the tree and give it a little twist. When the fruit is ready to pick, the stem will break. If the stem is still pliable and does not break, give the pears a little longer. Store the pears in a cool, dark place until ripe.

Things You'll Need

  • Pear tree
  • Organic mulch
  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning shears

References

  • Ohio Extension Services: Pruning Mature Apples and Pears
  • The Southern Living Garden Book, Steve Bender, 2004
Keywords: plant pear tree, prune pear tree, fruit trees

About this Author

Diane Watkins has been writing since 1984, with experience in newspaper, newsletter and Web content. She writes two electronic newsletters and has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Clemson University. She has taken graduate courses in biochemistry and education.