How to Grow a Pear Tree


Pear trees grow well in all but poorly-drained soils (clayey soils). They also will not do well in soil that has a high water table. The soil pH must be 6.5, so the soil needs to be tested before planting. Pear trees require more than six hours of full sun per day. Pear trees are planted from mid-April to May, depending on the location. Warmer climates such as the Carolinas and Georgia allow for earlier planting. In cooler, northern climates or other places prone to later spring frosts, wait until May to plant.

Step 1

Dig a planting hole three times the size of the root ball and as deep as the root ball. Make the planting hole perimeter 3 to 5 inches larger than the diameter of the spread-out roots if the soil must be amended and if the pear tree is bare root. Make the planting hole as wide as the spread-out roots if the soil does not have to be ameneded.

Step 2

Remove all weeds and quickgrass from the planting site. The weeds and grasses will "steal" the pear tree's nutrients, causing an unhealthy tree.

Step 3

Amend the soil with organic matter such as green manure or compost if the planting site is sandy or has gravelly soil. Thoroughly mix the amendments with the soil before planting.

Step 4

Center the pear tree in the planting hole, making sure the graft union is 3 inches above the surface of the planting hole. Backfill 2/3 of the planting hole with the amended soil or topsoil, firmly packing the soil around the roots as you backfill. Fill the hole with 2 gallons of water, then finish backfilling.

Step 5

Fertilize the pear tree with 10-10-10 fertilizer three weeks after planting by spreading the fertilizer in a circle 20 inches away from the tree trunk.

Step 6

Prune the pear tree "whip" to 36 inches above the ground. If the tree is less than 36 inches, it does not need to be pruned. Prune the tree only if it is 1-year-old when you purchase it. A whip is a tree with no branches. If the tree has branches, leave the branches on the tree, except prune any branches with a narrow crotch and branches that are lower than 18 inches to the ground.

Things You'll Need

  • Lime (optional)
  • Green manure (optional)
  • Compost (optional)
  • Topsoil (optional)


  • University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension--Pear Tree
Keywords: pear tree, growing a pear tree, pruning a pear tree

About this Author

Cayden Conor is a family law paralegal who writes on various subjects including dogs, cockatoos and cooking. She has over 15 years of experience as a paralegal, and has been writing professionally for three years. Conor has a paralegal degree and majored in criminology, computer science (programming emphasis) and education.