Caring for pear trees
Caring for your pear trees properly is essential for keeping them healthy and productive. Here we take a look at some of the questions you often ask us about doing just that.
When to prune pear trees
Prune your pear trees during their dormant phase between November and March. Unless you’re growing them as cordons, espaliers, or fans, in which case, you should aim to prune during the summer, just giving them a tidy during the winter.
How to prune pear trees
First work to remove dead, damaged, or diseased wood, before moving on to pruning to encourage good shape and strong harvests. Most of the fruit on your pear tree grows on wood that’s less than five years old, so aim to prune the oldest fruiting wood out each year. This will account for about one tenth of the total canopy, not more – over pruning is disadvantageous because it encourages strong but spindly regrowth. Try to keep the canopy open by also removing inward-pointing and crossed branches which are rubbing together. Concentrate on improving areas of congestion, rather than simply trimming everything back evenly.
When do pear trees blossom?
Pear trees blossom in March and April, producing small blooms with five white petals, red anthers – the male pollen producing part of the flower, and five stigmas – the female pollen receptors.
Do pears ripen on the tree?
Pears are best ripened off the tree. That’s because by the time they’re soft on the outside, they’re often past their best on the inside. If the stem has started to wither at the point where it joins the fruit and the area immediately surrounding it is just slightly soft then, even if the outside of the pear is still hard, it’s ready to pick. To pick, cup the fruit in your hand, lift, and twist.
For more traditional fruiting trees, browse our selection of plum, cherry and apple trees.