When and how to plant pear tree

Pear    MO

I really want to try planting some fruit trees in my back yard this year. I’d really like a pear tree. I’ve been trying to read up on how to do this but some sites recommend winter and others say spring for planting. I’m confused. Does any body have any experience with fruit trees and if so can you help me out. Am I too late to think about planting?

Posted by: Dave P. (1 point) Dave P.
Posted: February 4, 2013


Assuming that you would like to grow pears for eating (this is PlantVillage afterall) I have some advice for you. First off, are you ready for a challenge? Excellent, that's what we like to hear. You are going to have to have your wits about given the extremes of growing conditions you may be faced with out there in the mid-west! Ok, I'm being melodramatic. It is most definitely possible to grow a beautiful and fruitful pear tree in MO and here is some advice..........

Firstly, you are not too late, fruit trees can be planted in winter or spring (which is hopefully not too far off!). My research tells me that you should not select the well known varieties of Barlett or Keiffer where you are. The conditions in MO are great for disease, particularly fire blight. Bartlett is very susceptible to fire blight while Keiffer, although blight resistant, does not produce a great tasting fruit. Instead choose one which is both resistant to some degree and also will give you a nice fruit - see this short but informative article produced specifically for MO: http://extension.missouri.edu/washing...)
I'd strongly recommend getting more than one variety so that they can cross pollinate and produce a good fruit set. Ask advice at the nursery from which you buy your trees for advice on compatibility so that you are not disappointed after going to all the effort, some varieties will simply not cross pollinate. Encourage bees in your garden, honeybees in particular are very effective pollinators.

Second, ensure that you have space and the correct type of soil, the pear propagation section here on PlantVillage should be a good resource for you. It is located here https://www.plantvillage.com/topics/p... A deep, well draining, sandy loam is perfect and bearing in mind that the varieties you should grow in MO can get pretty big, I hope you have a reasonable sized yard (allow 18 ft between individual trees).

Third, site selection for planting is also very important. Pear trees require full sun. If you have a slope to plant them on so much the better as it will allow cold air to drain away from the trees during the winter months. You need to dig holes that are wide enough to accommodate the root ball while allowing some space for it to spread. Don't put the root ball in too deep or your tree may not grow sufficiently. The hole will end up being wider than it is deep. Place the tree in and back-fill the hole with soil about 2/3 of the way before thoroughly soaking with water and finishing filling the hole. Let the tree settle for a couple of weeks before fertilizing.

Finally. Pruning. You should remove any branches with a crotch angle of less 60°. The crotch angle is the angle between the branch and the trunk of the tree. The branches will spread naturally as the tree matures. Young branches should ideally be 60-75° from the trunk. As the tree matures you should remove suckers (new stem growth from the root ball that literally 'sucks' energy from the main plant).

Happy planting!!

Posted by: Lindsay McMenemy (2 points) Lindsay McMenemy
Posted: February 4, 2013

Dave P. commented,
Awesome! Thanks so much for the detailed reply. I am going to visit some nurseries very soon.
over 7 years ago.

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