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Pear Tree Facts

By Moira Clune

Pear trees are an easy-to-grow fruit tree that is less susceptible to common orchard pests and illnesses. If the fruit is picked early—while still green on the tree—pears keep for several months in storage. Available in standard semi-dwarf and dwarf sizes, pear trees are suitable for any size garden.

Planting

Pear trees are susceptible to damage from strong winds. All varieties should be staked for the first three to five years.

Sizes

Dwarf pear trees rarely exceed 8 feet in height and can be grown in containers. Standard trees can exceed 20 feet.

Requirements

Pear trees should be planted in full sun with good drainage. Pears are grown in zones 5 through 9 and prefer a soil pH of 5.5 to 6.5.

Fertilizers

Pears should be fertilized in early springs, about 2 weeks before flowering. Fertilizers that contain high amounts of nitrogen will encourage suckering.

Pruning

Pear trees are commonly pruned into a “wine goblet” shape. The technique removes center branches to encourage air circulation.

Pollination

Most pear cultivars are self-unfruitful, meaning they need another cultivar to bear fruit. Self-fertile varieties do not require it, but will produce better crops when a matching variety is nearby.