Caring for the Asian Pear Tree

April 5, 2013 12:00 am

Choosing a site:

Asian pears bloom very early and are susceptible to late spring frost damage. If late spring frosts happen in your area, plant your trees where cold air will run downhill away from them.

Asian pears thrive in soils that have only average amounts of fertility, water, and drainage. They also require great air circulation.

Healthy trees will grow about two feet a year for the first three years. With fruit production the desired growth is one foot a year. If your trees are not growing this fast, it would be wise to have your soil tested for fertility. By applying a balanced fertilizer (10-10-10) in the later winter or early spring, before the buds emerge, you may have better growth.

Pollination:

To ensure pollination, make sure to plant cultivars of Asian or European Pears whose bloom periods overlap. By planting trees 8ft.-15ft. apart, cross pollination will be more likely to happen. When trees are cross pollinated, the Asian pears tend to over bear and produce small fruit. This is best solved by thinning. No more than one fruit should be allowed to develop per fruit cluster. Pull the fruit clusters off in the early spring when they are small, keeping one fruit on each cluster and spacing clusters 4-6” apart.

Pruning:

Here are some basic rules to achieve success:

First create an open center. Remove the tip from the central trunk to promote side branching. Then prune away all but three or four of the major limbs growing from the central trunk to provide evenly spaced branches strong enough to hold the ripening fruit. Remove any weak shoots that arise from the base and limbs of the tree. The removal of these weak shoots will help against diseases and insects. Pruning of young trees will delay the fruiting, so it’s best to prune your tree after the third year of harvest.