A variety of common pear (Pyrus communis), Kieffer produces large, firm, yellow with reddish-blushed fruits. Pollen must contact the female pistil organs in blossoms in order for any fruits to develop. An old-fashioned or heritage fruit tree, Kieffer naturally resists the fireblight disease that often afflicts pear and apple trees.
The Kieffer pear tree is one of the few considered self-fertile, meaning its own flowers provide the pollen for fertilization and fruit production. One tree can yield fruits. Kieffer makes a good pollinating tree for other varieties of common pear that require cross-pollination.
For more prolific flowering, a Kieffer pear tree needs exposure to a minimum of 500 hours of temperatures below 45 degrees. Insects, especially bees, play a key role in pollinating pear trees. Cool, rainy weather during early spring flowering limits bee visitation to flowering fruit trees.
Pesticides in the landscape may also reduce populations of honeybees and native bees. Even though Kieffer is considered self-fertile, an additional tree nearby improves pollination and fruit set. Regional climate and soils play roles in uneven flowering or poor fruit set on pear trees, too. The colder the winter dormancy, the better.