The wood is prized for instrument and furniture making, the fruit is among the oldest and most revered, and the blooms are stunning in the spring. This is a wonderful plant that is a poor choice in the garden for looks, but wonderful for all the uses in can bring in the garden. These trees are slow growers, slow producers, and slow to die-many, many years from planting. What would make you want to give up valuable space in the garden to a tree that will give you so little in the here and now? Read on and I hope to have you planning on where to plant that next tree in the yard - a pear tree.
Where to Plant -
Pear trees need to get full sun and soil, after established, on the moist to dry side. Pear trees need full sun. The trees will stretch and grow misshapen if not given full sunlight. The planting area does not need to be amended but it will help the tree, and trees need to be the oldest you can possibly afford for faster growth and bloom. The first few years the tree will send out shoots rather quickly and grow at a faster rate. After the push of the first years, the tree will slow down and grow very slowly. Make sure there is plenty of room around the tree to insure air flow and watch the branches, thinning only when they are crossing.
Trees need to be planted 25 to 30 feet from any other tree for the best growth, bloom, and in time, fruiting. Even for small varieties, the trees need to be planted to the point that the branches do not touch each other or another tree. These are good plants to put lawn beneath since they do not like their root zones disturbed as would happen if you planted a garden under the tree.
What to Plant -
All pear trees are from Europe, North Africa, and Asia. On the whole they are deciduous, but there are some evergreen Asian varieties that can be grown in the United States. Pears are among the most common of all fruit trees and they are among the hardiest taking temperatures of up to 20 below zero. There are many varieties of Pears on the market today, everything from the old fashioned pears of yesterday to the modern Asian pears now on the market. Here in the U.S., there is a pear tree perfect for your likes and needs. The best way to buy a tree is to buy locally. Buy what you are looking for and do not take anything but the very tree you really want. Many garden centers are notorious for trying to pass off inferior pear tree varieties to their customers so be ready and know what you want. Only buy from a place you really trust, seeing you might not see fruit for a very long time--long after your guarantee is gone and forgotten.
Never, ever plant a fruitless pear. These trees have none of the wonderful qualities of their fruit bearing cousins. They are weak trees, short lived, and offer none of the wonderful fruit. Over all, these trees are a waste of space but very common on the market. I have heard more than once of a buyer at a garden center going in for a fruiting pear and coming out with a fruitless one. Be careful and read before you buy any pear tree at a big box store to ensure your tree will bear fruit.
Will my pear tree ever fruit? Yes, give it time and depending on the variety and how happy it is in your garden it will fruit about five years after planting. Some will fruit faster and some much slower. But good things come to those who wait so be patient, watch the spring blooms and the fall leaves, and wait for that first wonderful fruit to appear in the future. Like waiting for the birth of a child, waiting for the first fruit to grow on a pear can be a fulfilling and wonderful experience.
Thank you to Sarahskeeper for the images.