Pear (Espalier) Growing Guide
Crop Rotation Group
Moist, well-drained soil with a near-neutral pH.
In cool climates, grow dwarf varieties against a wall, as an espalier. Semi-dwarf and standard pears make excellent landscape trees in large gardens.
Yes, but it is important to choose varieties known to grow well in your area to reduce risk of losing blooms to spring freezes in cold areas.
Benefits from a mulch of well-rotted organic matter in spring, topped by a deep mulch of wood chips or sawdust year round.
Corridors within the orchard that are planted with clovers and other legumes contribute to soil fertility and attract pollinators.
Single Plants: 3,50m (11' 5") each way (minimum)
Rows: 3,50m (11' 5") with 3,50m (11' 5") row gap (minimum)
Sow and Plant
Plant in winter while they are dormant. This gives them a chance to settle and develop their roots before putting their energy into spring growth. Prepare a large hole by breaking up the soil and adding plenty of well-rotted organic matter. A wide hole is better than a very deep one. Mulch after planting, and encircle the trunk with a wire cage or protective pipe to protect the young tree from animal and insect pests.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.
Prune in winter to remove any dead or overcrowded branches and to shape if required. Most varieties need at least one other pear tree in the neighborhood to get good pollination.
Harvest pears before they fully ripen, and ripen under cool indoor temperatures.
Very cool or hot weather can affect ripening, and leaving fruits on the tree for too long can cause them to rot from the inside out. Scab and other fungal diseases can cause problems for pears. Prune to improve airflow and avoid feeding with too much nitrogen. Fire blight can be controlled by trimming off and destroying affected areas as soon as possible. This bacterial disease strikes suddenly in cool, damp weather, and causes branches to look like they have been burned by fire. Codling moths can destroy crops of young fruits; trichogramma wasps can be used to control them, but insects are generally less of a problem with pears than with other tree fruits.
Planting and Harvesting Calendar
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