Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pear Picks

Pears are a good fruit choice for the Front Range. They bloom late, usually just before apples. Pears are subject to fireblight disease like apples so look for fireblight resistance. Fruit is borne on two year old or older spurs (short, stout twigs) also like spur-type apples.

In choosing a tree for planting, remember that pears are self-fruitful but bear better when planted with a second pollinator tree. Magness is a variety often used for pollination and it shows good fireblight resistance. Any variety that blooms at the same time will serve as a cross-pollinizer.

Both European pears, Asian pears and their hybrids can be grown. Note that Asiatic pears have a lower chilling requirement than European types. Asian pears generally are also less resistant to fireblight.

European pear suggestions include Bartlett (an early summer pear, left in photo) , d’Anjou (right in photo), Bosc and Lucious. Hybrid pears grown here include Maxine (good fireblight resistance) and Kieffer. Of the Asian types, Shinko shows more fireblight resistance.

As in previous fruit tree adaptation discussions [see “Fruit trees on the Front range” March 12], be forewarned that our erratic climate makes this a difficult fruit growing location and these are only suggestions, not recommendations. Comments on your pear growing successes and failures are welcome.

[Pears in basket photo credit, Carl Wilson]

1 comment:

  1. Can a flowering pear, that we have in the front yard, pollinate a fruiting pear (if we clip a few branches during the flowering phase and bring it back) in our back yard? There are tons of nonfruiting trees in our neighborhood in Colorado Springs (crabapple, pear etc.) and I was wondering how well fruiting trees can be pollinized by a nonfruiting one (if they happen to bloom at the same time and are of course the same type of tree)? We already have an agreement with our neighbor to use a few branches of their crabapple to help pollinize our fruiting apple in exchange for a part of the harvest (if we're lucky enough to get one).