Plant pear trees in full sun and in soil that drains well on a high point so frost gathering in low pockets will not damage the tree or the fruit. If fruit trees are close to the south or west side of a building, they can also bloom too early in the spring and be damaged by frost.
Most pear varieties must have a second variety close by for cross-pollination. Pear blossoms have a short season and the small amount of nectar the trees produce is not attractive to bees, so twice as many bees are needed as with other types of fruit trees for good pollination.
Only a few insects plague pears. To control pear psyllids, reported in western Colorado, Fremont County and the Fort Collins area, spray trees with Permethrin when pear psyllids begin laying eggs, usually the first to second week of March. In areas of Colorado where psyllids is not a problem, oil and Bifenthrin can control scale insects, aphids and mites when sprayed at approximately the same time.
Pears are susceptible to fireblight. Resistant varieties are Magness, Moonglow and Starking Delicious, also known as Maxine. Moderately resistant varieties are Douglas, Kieffer, Seckel, Dawn and Anjou. The varieties that should not be planted where fireblight is a problem are Bartlett, Clapp's Favorite, Bosc, Comice, Max-Red Bartlett, Aurora, Starkrimson and Winter Nelis.
For more information, see the following Colorado State Extension fact sheet(s).
- The Science of Planting Trees
- Pollination of Tree Fruits
- Backyard Orchard: Apples and Pears
- Fire Blight
- Pear Slugs
Do you have a question? Try Ask an Expert!
Updated Friday, April 19, 2013