How to Start Pear Trees

Overview

Purchasing a young pear tree can be costly, so unless you're in a hurry to get pears, you can instead start pear trees yourself. Starting pear trees is easy, and you can do it two different ways. You can start pear trees from seed or from cuttings, depending on how quickly you'd like to be able to transplant your pear tree. Pear seeds take about 4 months to germinate and begin to grow, while cuttings can root and sprout new growth in less than 4 weeks. Either method is simple and easy to do in your home or greenhouse.

Start From Seed

Step 1

Plant the pear tree seeds in a seedbed that is enriched with sphagnum peat moss. Place the seedbed in a shallow tray or container. Don't use regular garden or potting soil. Plant the seeds shallowly, so that the seed is just below the surface.

Step 2

Space the seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch apart. Water to soak the seedbed, but make sure the water is absorbed and not pooling around the seedbed.

Step 3

Cover the tray with clear plastic and place it in your refrigerator for 90 days. This cold-treatment process is called stratification and is essential to pear seed germination. After the 90 days are up, remove the tray from the refrigerator.

Step 4

Keep the tray covered with clear plastic and place it in bright, indirect sunlight. Remove the plastic after the seeds have germinated and begun to sprout. Transplant the seedlings when the "true" leaves appear (the first leaves to grow are the "seed leaves" and the second, larger leaves are the true leaves).

Start From Cuttings

Step 1

Take terminal cuttings that are 6 to 9 inches long from a disease-free, healthy pear tree. Make sure the cutting has at least two nodes. Dip the cut ends into a rooting hormone.

Step 2

Insert the cut end into a small planter pot with drainage holes in the bottom and filled with a mixture of equal parts sand and sphagnum peat. Water the medium well, making sure any excess water is draining freely through the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot.

Step 3

Place the planter pot in a large, clear plastic bag and tie it at the top. Place the pot in bright, indirect sunlight and keep the potting medium moist. When the first new growth appears, remove the pot from the plastic bag. Roots should develop in about 3 weeks.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid inserting the cuttings too deep into the medium to prevent oxygen deprivation to the developing roots. Push the cuttings down just enough so that they can stand up without support.

Things You'll Need

  • Pear seeds
  • Sphagnum peat moss seedbed
  • Shallow container or tray
  • Water
  • Clear plastic
  • Pear tree cuttings
  • Rooting hormone
  • Small planter pot with drainage holes
  • Sand and sphagnum peat mixture
  • Plastic bag

References

  • AgriLife Extension (Texas A&M System): Home Fruit Production--Pears

Who Can Help

  • National Gardening Association: Pear Care
Keywords: grow pear trees, start pear tree, grow pear seeds

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.