Plant and Seed Shop

Pear Trees - Fruiting Trees for Sale
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Pollinator needed?


Flowering Period

Mid April

Mature Height

7-14 feet

Produce Fruit In

3-5 years

Support needed?


Harvest Period

Mid Aug on

Sun Exposure


Soil Type

all types

Pears are a cool climate fruit, they require winters that are long enough and cold enough to provide them with a sufficient "chilling requirement" if they are to fruit reliably. They are a little more demanding than apples - a similar cool climate tree fruit - in that they need more sheltered, warmer conditions in the growing season and in particular shelter at flowering time which happens earlier than with apples. Bad weather at flowering time can inhibit pollination and reduce that years pear crop.

Pears make good ornamental trees too as well as providing fruit. They have decorative furrowed bark and do a really good line in old-and-gnarly from a relatively young age. The blossom is very decorative and plentiful in the spring and there are many varieties that give good fall color too. Wall training shows off these attributes very well, one of my neighbors has a pear about 15ft high and wide trained onto the wall at the side of his house and it looks good pretty much all through the year.

Pears are best regarded as not being self-pollinating. Some are (sort of) but almost all do better when they have a pollination partner. The variety "Conference" can form almost banana shaped fruits when self-pollinated for instance, but reverts to the usual pear shape when cross pollinated. Others varieties don't set fruit hardly at all without a pollination partner.

Rootstocks - pears do not come true from seed and so the variety is grafted onto a rootstock that determines the eventual vigor and size of the tree.

Training and pruning - pears are pome fruits (they have many small pips rather than a single large stone such as plums) and so are pruned while dormant in the winter months. The best time is after the harshest of the winter weather is over, but before the buds break for spring. Winter pruning should be to thin out the fruiting spurs with the removal of one or two larger branches as appropriate to promote younger growth. Fruit thinning may be required sometimes as a very heavy crop may be set.

Pear Problems

Pear Scab -  black/brown scabs appear on the fruits with similar scabs on the leaves, though green/gray in color. Fruit may also be small and misshapen, secondarily split and become infected with fungal rots. This is caused by a fungus Venturia pirina which over winters on stems and fallen leaves. Fallen leaves should be raked up and burnt or otherwise disposed of out of the garden. Spray the tree with a fungicide containing carbendazim or mancozeb, some apple cultivars are resistant. Trees with overcrowded branches are more susceptible, so pruning to open the crown will help, the disease is more prevalent in damp years.

Aphids - Twisted curled or puckered leaves and shoots which on inspection have hundreds or thousands of tiny green, black or pale colored insects. Spray at first sign with a systemic insecticide or your preferred organic alternative.

Pear Leaf Blister Mite - Like all mites, tiny little creatures (not insects, related to spiders) these cause small raised yellow/green blisters on the leaves. Spray with thiophanate-methyl at the end of March.

Pear Midge - Tiny caterpillars or grubs appear in the small fruits which may fall. Spray with fenitrothion before the flowers open and as they are fading, don't spray while flowers are open as you will kill pollinating insects.

Fire Blight - A very serious disease of many plants, but particularly of pears. The plants look like a fire has been burning below the branches with leaves and shoots first blackening and then shrivelling brown, hence the name. Diseased wood should be cut out and burnt. The disease is most common at flowering time starting at the blossom which goes black and withers. It then passes back to the stems which die back leading to cankers in the bark at the stem bases. Eventually the disease can pass to the trunk which will kill the tree. A bacterial disease with no real treatment other than good husbandry practices such as pruning at the correct time of year and not too drastically at any one time. Pruning tools used to remove diseased wood should be placed in a 10% bleach solution between cuts for at least 5 seconds.

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