Due to the cold climate (zones 5-6) that is present in Maine, it is necessary to make sure that any fruit trees you might plant will be hardy enough to survive those chilly Maine winters. One particularly great option: pear trees. Not only will they generally make it through the winters, they will actually thrive in the colder climate. By following a few easy steps, make sure that you are getting the best results out of your pear trees.
Eat a pear or two. When you are done, save the seeds that are found around the core of the pear. Wash them down thoroughly and then towel them dry. Place them in a warm, dry place for a few days until they dry out completely. Do not place them directly on a radiator or heater though, as this can damage the seeds.
Cover the dried seeds with a damp towel and place them in the refrigerator for approximately a week. Look for small sprouts to begin appearing on the seeds.
Place the sprouting seeds into small cups filled with potting soil. Water the seedlings everyday to prevent the soil from drying out. The soil needs to be slightly damp to the touch to encourage the best growth.
Wait for the new seedling to grow to approximately two inches tall and then transplant it, soil and all, into a larger tree pot that has been prepared with potting soil and some form of fertilizer--either store-bought or homemade mulch or compost. It is best to allow your new pear sprout to stay in this type of pot until it has grown into a small tree--approximately 2-3 feet tall. Don't forget to water often.
Select an appropriate location for your new pear tree. Choose a spot that gets lots of sunlight. Maine isn't exactly the sunniest of states, so choose a location that gets full sunlight with no interrupting shadows. Also select a spot that offers the tree ample space to grow. Realize that with proper care, the pear tree will get quite large, so pick a spot that will accommodate it.
Prepare the location for the pear tree. Clear the area of other unwanted plants and weeds and then dig a hole large enough to accommodate the contents of the pot the tree currently resides in, with a little extra space on the sides to allow for easy initial root growth.
Transplant the sapling, soil and all, from the tree planting pot to the prepared hole. In Maine, due to the harsh winters, plant your pear tree early in the spring, just after the last hard freeze of the year. This will give your pear tree as much time as possible to grow and set down strong roots before having to weather its first winter.
Fill the hole around the roots in with soil and water it down thoroughly in order to eliminate any air pockets that might have formed. Spread mulch around the base of the sapling in roughly a three foot circle. The mulch will assist with moisture retention--which can be vital during drought season--and help keep other plants from growing in that area and competing with the pear tree for water and nutrients.
Water regularly and thoroughly for the first year and then during the dry season thereafter.