Pears belong to the genus Pyrus and can grow throughout most of North America. Although commercial production is mostly limited to the West Coast states, home gardeners throughout the country enjoy growing pears because of their sweet taste and because they are low-maintenance.
Pear trees grow best when planted in the spring or fall. (Fall planting in USDA Plant Hardiness zones 4 to 6 is not recommended). It takes several years to go from the seedling stage to a fruit-producing tree, so expect the first significant crop of pears after the trees reach 8 to 10 years of age.
Pear trees should be staked in the first year of life as young saplings can be severely damaged by boisterous winds. Pears should also be trained and regularly pruned to produce a successful crop.
Pear trees are not self-pollinating and some varieties do not cross-breed with one another. Check your local nursery for pollinating information on different types.
Pear tree blossoms produce small amounts of nectar. Standard-size trees should be planted 20 to 25 feet apart and dwarf varieties 12 to 15 feet apart to encourage pollination from bees and other insects.
Pear trees tend to suffer from fewer disease and pest problems than most other fruit trees. They are, however, susceptible to psylla (an insect) and mold infection. Adjusted fertilizing and pruning can prevent both problems.
- Thrifty Fun: Growing Pears
- Gardener's Network: How to Grow Pear Fruit Trees
- Flower and Garden Tips: Growing Pears
- USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
growing pear trees, pear tree pollination, diseases of the pear tree
About this Author
Loraine Degraff has been a writer and educator since 1999. She recently began focusing on topics pertaining to health and environmental issues. She is published in "Healthy Life Place" and "Humdinger" and also writes for Suite101. Degraff holds a Master's degree in Communications Design from Pratt Institute.