Common Name: Pear
Botanical Name: Pyrus pyrifolia
Type and Use: Deciduous tree with edible flowers and fruit
Location: Full sun
Planting Dates: Spring or fall
Planting Method: Transplants, balled and burlapped, bare-rooted, or container-grown. Containers are the best choice. Can be grown from seed, but the fruit probably won’t be very good.
Seed Emergence: Do not plant from seed
Harvest Time: Summer when the fruit is ripe
Height: 15-25 feet
Spread: 15 feet
Final Spacing: 15-20 feet
Growth Habits: Upright-growing fruit tree with white flowers in the spring and summer fruit
Culture: This is one of the easiest-to-grow fruit trees for Texas. Pears need less pruning than plums and peaches. Removal of the dead and damaged wood is about all that’s needed.
Troubles and Solutions: Avoid fireblight by cutting back on the nitrogen fertilizer and spraying with Garrett Juice plus potassium bicarbonate and garlic. The traditional solution is to spray with Streptomycin while the plant is in bloom. Insect pests are minimal and can be controlled with citrus sprays.
Harvest and Storage: Harvest the fruit when slightly soft to the touch and ripe. Eat as soon as possible or store in a cool, dry place.
Note: There is some evidence that soft rock phosphate in the soil will help control fireblight.
Varieties: Orient, Ayers, Kieffer and Moonglow. Monterrey is an excellent choice for the southern half of the state. Asian pears include Twentieth Century and Shinseiki. Avoid Bartlet.