How to Cross-pollinate an Ayers Pear Tree
Ayers pear trees are a southern United States variety. They produce sweet yellow, red, and brown pears. Although Ayers pear trees are sometimes partially self-pollinating, you can usually get better, more abundant pears by cross-pollinating with another type of pear tree. Ayers pear trees will cross-pollinate with almost any other pear tree, so all you have to do is choose another pear variety that you like. Cross-pollinating will allow you to enjoy many wonderful pears throughout the season.
Choose a healthy Ayers pear tree. Only healthy pear tree will successfully cross-pollinate.
Plant a second pear tree near your Ayers pear tree. Choose any type of pear tree you like, except another Ayers pear tree. This second tree should be no more than 100 feet away, but don’t crowd the trees too close together, either. You can also use a pole-type pollinator, which is a small, thin sapling used specifically for pollination purposes. These pollinators take up very little space.
Cut a few branches off the pollinating tree while the tree is flowering. Place these branches in buckets of water, as if you were arranging flowers, and hang them from a few of the tallest limbs of the Ayers pear tree. This makes pollination that much easier.
Entice bees to your yard. Plant flowers, such as dandelions, which are known to attract honeybees, around or near the Ayers pear tree. Choose flowers that will bloom at or near the same time as the pear trees. Honeybees are the most efficient pollinators, and are the best way to cross-pollinate your pear tree. If you have a large amount of pear trees that you’re looking to pollinate, consider investing in a honeybee hive. Place the hive in the center of the tree group. Because pear nectar is not overly enticing to bees, it’s important to attract or import as many bees as possible.
Cross-pollinate the trees by hand if pollination via bees is not working. Take a small, soft paintbrush, and gently brush the pollen from inside a flower on the pollinator tree. Transfer this pollen to the Ayers pear tree by brushing it into a flower of the Ayers tree. Repeat this process on as many of the flowers as possible. You can also go the other way, and take pollen from the Ayers pear tree to the pollinator tree to pollinate both trees.
Ann LaPan travels exuberantly in body and mind via planes, trains, automobiles and superb literature. A webmaster, website designer, graphic artist, accountant and musician (Jill of all trades, master of a few), she writes Today’s Horoscope for Shooting Star Astrology.com.