Pears rank in the top five garden fruit trees as a garden crop. Not only are pears delicious fruit, but they also have a wonderful (special) property. They can be safely consumed by people with allergies, both fresh and processed. The perfect combination of granular flesh and pleasant aroma gives pears an exquisite taste. The amazing qualities of the pear fruit gradually emerge.
The full aroma and flavor of the fruit only become apparent after ripening and “ripening.” Pears are known as a delicious medicine for the urinary system. It is the only crop whose fruit contains arbutin. A substance is needed for the treatment of the bladder and kidneys.
The pear fruit contains a large amount of micronutrients and substances, the combination of which counteracts the deposition of salts in the liver and kidneys. Chlorogenic acid strengthens the capillaries and promotes the elimination of bile from the body.
In general, the pear is a crop that should be grown in every dacha. It is not difficult to grow. The pear is not capricious, although it has some peculiarities that should be taken into account when choosing varieties, cultivating, and forming pruning. Recently bred pear varieties and hybrids have allowed the expansion of cultivation in the northwestern part of the U.S. This article will describe how to grow pear trees and how to care for them, prune them and introduce varieties.
SELECTING A LOCATION AND PLANTING PEAR TREES
The pear tree has several characteristics. The culture belongs to those who love light. It can tolerate high humidity in the root zone but not prolonged damp fog. A few humid days and the pear tree will get fungal and bacterial diseases. Therefore, in a mixed dacha garden, it is best to plant it in the outermost row, in the brightest place, available for wind (but not wind-blown).
If planted in lowlands, where the groundwater content is high, pear trees do not develop well in drought conditions and die quickly. On the plot occupied by the garden, it is reasonable to allocate a place for the pear tree in the south, west, or southwest. Pears are a cross-pollinated crop, so usually, 2-3 trees of different varieties are planted.
Soil requirements for pear trees
Like other crops, pears grow and develop normally on fertile soil with good moisture and air permeability. A clay layer will not affect the development of pears because the bottom of the pear root system needs some moisture retention. If the soil is physically dense but nutrient-poor, prepare a mixture from the upper soil layer when digging the planting pit, add humus or compost for thinning and apply mineral fertilizer.
Planting period of pear tree seedlings
Depending on the region, pear trees are planted in autumn or spring. Spring planting is preferred in the northern and central zones of the United States, where winter temperatures are cooler. Pear planting starts in April when warm weather without returning frost comes.
In the south and other areas with snowy winters and relatively long warm autumns, pear seedlings are best planted in the fall. The hot spring in warm areas often depresses the seedlings, causing the above-ground parts to dry out and dies. In the south, the best period for planting seedlings is the end of September and the beginning of October. Due to the long warm period, pear seedlings have time to take root and adapt to the new living conditions. The culture does not like to be transplanted, so the seedlings should be planted immediately in a fixed place, especially if they are 3-4 years old.
Preparing the soil for planting pear trees
The area under the pear orchard or for separate plantings must be prepared in advance. Add compost or humus to 11 sq ft 22 Lb (10 kg) per 11 sq ft (10 kg) under tillage with 100 g of nitro phosphate or 50-60 g of calcium superphosphate and 20-30 g of potash. If the soil is acidified, add dolomite powder or 2 cups of ash.
Preparation of planting hole
In the case of planting pear saplings in spring, a planting hole is prepared from autumn. It is dug quite spacious – 28x28inch (70×70 cm) and up to 40inch (1 meter) deep. At the bottom of the hole in light soil, a 4inch (10cm) layer of clay is laid to delay irrigation water or rainfall.
Place a 4-8inch (10-20 cm) layer of compost or humus (not manure) on top. Cover these layers with the prepared soil mixture and leave them until spring.
When planting pear trees in the fall, prepare the planting holes 2-3 weeks before planting the saplings. In the same way, prepare a mat at the bottom of the planting hole, the size of which corresponds to the volume of the root system. In the center of the hole, install wooden support to which the pear sapling will be tied after planting. Plant the seedlings in the prepared hole as usual.
Soil mixture preparation
The soil mixture used to fill the hole when planting pear seedlings is prepared from the topmost layer of fertile soil, which is mixed with humus, compost, or high peat with 50-60 g of nitro phosphate or phosphorus-potassium fertilizer, 30 and 20 g, respectively, and about 100-150 g of wood ash per bucket of this mixture.
Preparation of pear tree seedlings
It is best to purchase 1-2-year-old seedlings for planting. When buying, you should pay attention to the quality of the pear tree grafting and the condition of the sapling itself. The bark should be smooth and monochromatic. The pear sapling itself – resilient and not dried out. The root system is alive – on the cut, it is shiny, moist, and shaded with the characteristics of the variety. The day before sowing, the roots of the seedlings are immersed in a bucket containing a solution of a rooting agent or other root promoters. It is also added to the water and poured into the planting hole.
Before planting, the central and lateral long roots were cut 4-4.5inch (10-12 cm). If there are leaves on the trunk, they are cut off, and the lateral branches are also cut off. The finished pear saplings represent shoots of 30-33inch (75-85 cm) in height with no lateral branches.
RULES FOR PLANTING PEAR TREES
Spread the roots of the prepared pear seedlings on the hill of mixed soil (in the hole) and cover it with soil. Shake or lightly trample the stems of the seedlings in the hole so that there are no air voids. Fill 2/3 of the hole and pour in a bucket of room temperature water (so that it is not too cold). After the water is absorbed, continue to backfill the planting hole to the top. Be sure to monitor the root necks of the pear seedlings 1-2inch (2.5-5 cm) higher than the soil. The root neck is above the first root and is a different color than the bark on the trunk of the tree.
The transition from the green bark of the trunk to the light brown bark of the roots is the location of the root neck.
If the pear sapling is grafted, the graft is above the root neck (for novice gardeners). After completing the planting, slightly tamp the soil by hand and prepare a roll of 1-2inch (2.5-5cm) height in a circle of 15-20inch (40-50cm) diameter, where you will pour 1-2 buckets of water again. After absorption, the soil around the trunk is mulched, not reaching the central shoot 3-4inch (8-10 cm). At the end of the planting work, the pear seedlings are tied to the stand through the figure of eight. The soil should be mulched after watering throughout the warm period in autumn or, in the case of spring planting, throughout the vegetation period. The mulch should not cover the trunk of the pear tree: rot of the young trunk may occur.
Care of pear trees
It is necessary to keep the soil clean of weeds at all times under the canopy of young pear trees and later under adult trees. The best neighbor of the pear tree is the apple tree. It is not advisable to plant rowan next to pear trees because they are affected by the same pests.
Pears, even if they are winter hardy, planted in areas with long frosts, need winter shelter when they are young. Wrap the trunks of young trees with burlap or other materials, pre-treating them with anti-rodent preparations (diesel, blow, birch tar). Straw mixed with black root, mugwort, salvia, black elderberry, red elderberry, grass, mint, and other stems that repel rats should be used as insulation. The lower end of the insulator is buried in the soil 1-2inch (2.5-5cm), and in winter, the freshly fallen snow is stepped around it.
Watering the pear tree
During the first year, water the pear trees once a week. 1-2 buckets per plant are enough. In the following years, the rate of watering increases, and the watering schedule decreases to 1-2 times per month. Around the tree, dig 1-2 trenches and fill them with water from a hose. Mature pear trees are best watered by sprinkling. After watering, the soil must be loosened and mulched. Plants need oxygen and a moist, crust-free soil surface.
Fertilization of pear trees
Pear trees do not like to increase the amount of nitrogen. Therefore, nitrogen fertilizer should be applied in small annual doses for the first 2 to 4 years when the leaves are in bloom. Thereafter, the application of nitrogen fertilizer should only be made when the tree is clearly deficient in nitrogen, when the growth of the year is low, when the leaves become lighter (except for pear varieties), and when the leaf shaping is not sufficient.
For the pear fertilization, according to the soil fertility, 3-4-5 years to apply organic fertilizer once. Due to the massive removal of nutrients by the crop, mineral fertilizers, including micronutrients, are needed every year for cultivation.
The most logical practice is not to spread organic and mineral fertilizers on the soil surface but to dig shallow trenches around the canopy. Inorganic years first prepare in the trenches a mixture of phosphorus and potassium, 40 and 20 grams or 60 and 30 grams per 40inch extension, depending on the age of the pear, mixing it with the soil so as not to burn the roots, and then cover it with humus or compost (half a bucket) to close the soil layer. In other years, you may be limited to applying a full-strength compound fertilizer with the lowest nitrogen content.
Gardeners often use nitroprusside, which also has some trace elements in its composition. At the stage when the fruit starts to grow, 1-2-3 cups of wood ash can be loosened under the tree and applied around the circumference of the canopy in place of trace elements. Apply sufficient mineral fertilizer under the autumn digging. You can add humus or use the individual recommended cultures of specific varieties.
It is a good idea to use green manure in garden plantings. Lawn sprouts can be sown between the rows and mowed or left on the cultivated ground until spring.
PROTECTION OF PEAR TREES FROM PESTS AND DISEASES
Pears, like other seed fruit crops, are affected by fungal, bacterial, and viral diseases as well as by pests – sucking and gnawing insects. In addition, diseases affect the leaves and fruits of pear trees, respectively.
In order to harvest a mature crop, you should start the protection culture in early spring, using all recommended agrotechnical measures and before harvest. Preventive protection measures play a great role in protecting the health of pear trees and thus in obtaining a high-quality harvest.
Preventive and agrochemical protection measures include keeping the area free of weeds, timely fertilization, watering, and tree treatment. Timely removal of fallen leaves and leaf litter. All leaves are removed for use outside the garden: healthy leaves – put in compost, under excavation, sick leaves are burned or put in a separate compost pit for decomposition, watered or sprinkled with a solution for disease control.
When pruning is carried out, all waste material should be removed and burned. Trees should be treated with copper or iron sulfate (2-3%) or 3% Bordeaux mixture after complete defoliation. Repeat the treatment in the spring until the buds awaken from their winter rest. The timely and high-quality implementation of preventive measures can reduce the probability of a tree developing a disease or insect pest by up to 70%.
Types of pear diseases and protection measures
Pears can also be affected by diseases common to other seed crops. The most common and harmful ones are.
- Scab (leaf and fruit).
- Candidiasis (leaves and fruits).
- Black cancer (leaves and fruits).
- Stem rot (cytospora).
- Bacterial wilt.
- Powdery mildew.
- Leaf rust.
- White spot disease (septoria).
- Creamy white wilt.
Among the protection measures, the treatment of crops in the garden with biological agents is the safest on private land. They can be used to treat the entire vegetative period from leaf flowering to harvest, and some biological agents can also be used to treat fruit during winter storage to extend their safety.
Some growers use chemical preparations. Yes, the use of chemicals is enough for 2-3 treatments and the disease is defeated, but if used improperly or carelessly, chemicals can cause poisoning and internal organ damage to yourself and your family, causing the death of livestock and insects.
Therefore, it is practical and safe to use the following biological agents against diseases in canned mixtures: Trichodermin (Gliocladin), etc. The last drug has a dual-action. It is a good fungicide and insecticide. All the listed biological agents cooperate well in tank mixtures and are agents of wide action; they can kill up to 4-9 diseases. They are especially capable of destroying fungal, bacterial, and viral infections.
Protection of pear trees from pests with biological agents
The main pests of the pear tree are as follows.
- Green aphid.
- Fruit borer.
- Leaf miner (pear bollworm).
- Pear mite.
- Pear leaf beetle, pear mite, etc.
In order to prevent pests effectively, it is enough to have microbial pesticides in the garden’s kit. General biological agents can kill almost all of the above pests. verticillin and related biopesticides are also effective. Biological insecticides and bio fungicides can be used in tank mixtures. Mixtures can reduce the number of treatments and increase their efficiency.
When using biological agents, it is necessary to
- prepare the working solution exactly as recommended; when spraying, add a binder (soap, etc.) to the solution.
- Treat only in warm weather – air temperature at least 60-64°F (16-18°C), biologicals effective below 90°F (32°C).
- Treatment should be administered after 7-12 days unless otherwise recommended.
- Under optimal conditions, the effect of the biological agent appears for 3-6 days; if there is rainfall and a lot of dew falls, the treatment must be repeated.
PRUNING OF PEAR TREES
Pruning of pear trees is one of the main methods to obtain high quality and high yield.
There are three types of pruning, as follows.
- Sanitary pruning.
Pruning pear trees
Formative pruning is used in the first years of seedling growth and development. Its purpose is to create a crown. Pear trees form high yields, but if the crown is not formed properly, the skeletal branches will break and the tree will bend or develop into crooked. There are quite a few types of shaping and pruning in pear tree horticulture – palm trees, columns, pyramids, etc. In order to properly shape the crown, it is better to invite a specialist. In independent shaping pruning, the most accessible and easily executed types are usually used
- Without layers.
- Layered or sparsely layered.
When forming the crown of a pear tree, several rules must be strictly observed as follows.
- the main skeletal branches should point evenly in different directions.
- The bifurcation angle of the skeleton branches (first layer) from the trunk should be obtuse, not less than 90-120.
- In the formation of a layer, the optimal number of skeleton branches is 3-4 in the first layer and 2-3 in the second layer.
- The branches of the second tier should always be positioned to grow in the free space of the branches of the first tier so that they are not shaded.
Crown formation of pear trees without layers
In the second year after planting, cut all shoots to a height of 15-18inch (40-45 cm) during the bud expansion stage on the central stem. This is the head of the piano. Above this will be the branches of the crown. Leave a well-developed eye at the upper end of the stem. This will be the lowest scaffold branch of the first order. Measure 10-12inch (25-30 cm) from this point to find the next bud of the second scaffold branch. It is necessary that this bud is spirally located on the other side of the central branch as if to balance the load of future branches with the fruit.
If the height of the pear sapling allows, the third bud – the third skeleton branch – can also be arranged in a spiral and leave a continuation bud. It is the dominant one and ensures the growth of the crop. To prevent the tree from growing too tall – preferably no more than 10foot (3m) – the central shoot is shortened by 8-14inch (20-35cm) over time, while the nearest well-developed buds or branches are left in front. With this method, the pear tree suspends its height growth.
In this crown formation, all branches between the main support branches are truncated into a loop. Two to three second-order buds are formed. The same rule is adhered to – loading the tree evenly from different sides. In the following years, sanitary, thinning, and rejuvenating pruning of pear trees is carried out.
Crown formation of mixed-species pear trees
The 1st year after planting
In spring, at the bud swelling stage, a pear tree pole with a height of 15-18inch (40-45cm) is formed. All lateral branches on the trunk are cut into a ring.
Then, 30-35inch (80-90 cm) is measured upward from the central shoot for the first layer. In this space, 3-4 most developed pear buds were marked, which were 6-10inch (15-25 cm) apart from the central stem – at an angle of 90-120. These branches were cut off by 1/2-1/3 so that they were approximately the same length. The rest of the intermediate branches are removed in a circular fashion. Some gardeners cut them short and leave them on the fruiting links.
At 6-10inch (15-25 cm) above the third bud of the first layer, the central pear bud is pruned, which serves to continue the growth of the tree.
The 2nd year after planting
The first layer of pear trees is finished. Do not touch the central branches and scaffolding branches. The progeny of the central stem between the scaffold branches of the first layer should be cut into rings. The lateral buds on the central stems above the first layer are shortened.
The 3rd year after planting
In spring, at the bud swelling stage, all pear branches were cut into a ring from the first layer of upper skeletal branches measuring about 15-18inch (40-45 cm).
From the buds that are sprouting, 2 buds located on opposite sides of the central bud and 8-10inch (20-25 cm) apart are selected. Their position in the center should not overlap with the branches of the first layer, so as not to shade them in summer. The branches of the second layer of pear trees are separated from the skeleton branches of the first layer.
All branches between the scaffolding branches of the second layer should also be removed or shortened in the same way as the first layer. Cut back 1/3 of the scaffold branches and arrange them by length. Shorten the central stem by 6-8inch (15-20 cm).
The 4th year after planting
The central stem of the pear tree was shortened to a lateral branch to reduce the upward growth of the tree. Pruning is done at 15-18inch (40-45 cm) from the upper scaffold branches of the second layer. Shorten all scaffold branches by 1/3-1/4 and shorten some of the branches growing between the branches. In the layers, on the stems, and in the thickened layers, the rest of the growth is moved into the rings.
The 5th-6th year after planting
By this time, the pear tree reaches a height of 8-12 feet (2.5-3.5 m). Above the upper skeleton branches, the central conductor should be cut off so that the tree stops growing upwards.
In a formed canopy, second-order branches should be kept 35-40inch (90-100 cm) apart from the central trunk, 20-28inch (50-70 cm) apart.
With the normal growth of mature trees, crown thinning (cutting branches into rings if necessary) and limiting pruning of skeletal and semi-skeletal pear branches are performed after 5-6 years. Branches growing and shorter than 10-12inch (25-30 cm) were not cut or shortened, they were left to bear fruit.
In order to properly form a tree, it is necessary to create a strong crown on whose skeletal branches the annual growth and fruiting links will develop. For this purpose, in early summer – mid-July, a strong twine is tied to the middle of the 1-2-year-old pear skeleton branches, without tightening, bending downwards, and tying it to the central trunk. The skeleton branches should form a horizontal line, not bend into an arc. The next year, the second layer of skeleton branches should do the same. The branches will remain attached until they become hardwood.
Remove the twine and keep the pear branches horizontal. Some gardeners tie the lower end of the twine to a heavy object (brick, post, etc.) at the bottom of the pole. With this method of bending, care must be taken to ensure that the branches remain horizontal. Some growers cut branches with small deflection angles to the outer buds every year. The skeleton branches of the second layer of pear trees match the length of the branches of the first layer (leaving the shorter branches).
Sanitary pruning of pear trees
Pruning should be done every year after leaf fall and in early spring. The main purpose is to remove any overgrowth, inward growth, or diseased branches. Regulate the growth of the stand. Pruning is done in the spring to shorten the previous year’s growth.
Restoration pruning of pear trees
Rejuvenate pear trees when they are very dense and annual growth is strongly reduced. The skeletal and semi-skeletal branches of the two-layer crop are barely covered by regenerating branches and stand bare. During this period, the canopy was strongly reduced by removing some skeletal branches. The central trunk of the pear tree was shortened to a lateral branch, which allowed the redistribution of nutrients to the layer and growing branches. By shortening and thinning, nutrients reach the fruit-forming branches in a more concentrated manner, resulting in improved fruit yield and quality.
PEAR VARIETIES IN DIFFERENT REGIONS OF THE UNITED STATES
For more than 4000 years, this ancient pear has graced different civilizations. Today, the United States is the third-largest pear producer in the world, especially in Oregon and Washington where orchards allow this old world delight to flourish in their idyllic lands.
The breeding of a variety of pears in recent years has made it possible to promote the culture even in northern areas where there are frosts in winter. The success of cultivation and obtaining a good harvest of excellent quality depends on the proper selection of zonal varieties and the cultivation of hybrids. For northern areas, frost-resistant pear varieties with early fruiting should be selected.
Moisture from winding rivers and glacial snowmelt feeds the nutrient-rich volcanic soils of the region, creating an ideal environment for pear tree nutrition. With these idyllic growing conditions, it’s no wonder that Pacific Northwest pear growers produce more than 80 percent of the nation’s fresh pears – and they’re available nearly year-round. A rich history and even richer soil make these American pears some of the best in the world.
The different seasonal pear varieties are as follows.
- Winter Pear – Bosc, Comice, Concorde, Forelle, Green Anjou, Red Anjou, Seckel (“Sugar Pear”).
- Summer Pear – Bartlett (“Williams”), Red Bartlett, Starkrimson, Tosca.
- Asian Pear – Chojuro (“Plentiful”), Hosui (“Sweet Water”), Ichiban Nashi ( “First Pear”), Kikusui (“Floating Chrysanthemum”), Korean Giant (“A Ri Rang”), Kosui (“Good Water”), Nijisseiki (“20th Century”), Shinko ( “New Success”), Shinseiki (“New Century”).
More related information about growing pear trees