pear tree with fruit
Updated: June 1, 2021

Growing pears

As long as you are committed to the attention to detail and pest management that the crop requires, pears are excellent candidates for backyard growers. Pears share many cultural similarities and pest problems with apples. They are botanically grouped with apples and are collectively called 'pome fruits'.

Selecting pear varieties

Bearing age and height

Pear  Bearing age
(yrs.)
Tree height
(ft.)
     4-5  15 -18 

 

Cultivar  Comments
  European Pears - listed in order of ripening. All listed cultivars have fire blight resistance. Bartlett, Bosc, Comice, Anjou, and Clapp's Favorite are all fire blight susceptible.
 
Harrow Delight Juicy, medium-sized fruits. Smooth flesh, no grit cells. Productive trees.
Moonglow Medium-to-large, dull green fruits with a pink blush. Smooth, fine flesh; excellent quality.

Harvest Queen

Hardier and earlier, but very similar to Bartlett.
Honeysweet Firm fruit with cream-colored flesh; very similar to Seckel.
Seckel Can be nearly “tree-ripened.” Very sweet, small fruits. Referred to as the “sugar pear.”
Magness

Medium-sized fruits of excellent quality. Pollen is sterile; must be grown with two other cultivars. Must be kept in cold storage for one month prior to eating.

  Asian Pears - most have good to excellent resistance to fire blight
Hosui Vigorous, spreading tree with very sweet, russeted fruit.
Olympic Large, upright tree with very large, russeted fruit that stores well.
Shenseiki Large vigorous tree; fruit is medium-to-large with little russeting.

20th Century
(Nijisekki)

Medium-size tree with drooping habit. Yellow, high-quality fruit. Very productive; fruit must be thinned.
Shinko Firm, crisp fruit stores well.

Pear pollination requirements

Pears are mostly self-sterile and requires a pollenizer.

Planting pear trees

Plant your trees as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring or from mid-to-late September into fall. Before planting soil testing is recommended.