Watering and mulching pears
- For the first five years, regular deep watering may be required to supplement rainfall. Do not let roots dry out during these establishment years. A small ridge of soil may be hoed up around each tree to prevent runoff.
- A 2-3 inch layer of organic mulch will help reduce weeds and help to hold in soil moisture.
Soil pH- 6.0-6.5
Year 1- broadcast 0.80 ounces of nitrogen (N) over a two-foot circle, one month after planting. Keep the fertilizer six inches away from the trunk and broadcast it evenly. Do not put any fertilizer in the hole before planting. Broadcast another 0.80 ounces of nitrogen (N) around each tree in June.
Year 2 and older- apply fertilizer in spring and increase the amount of nitrogen applied by 0.40 ounces per year up to a maximum of 4.0 ounces nitrogen (N) per tree (dwarf); 8.0 ounces nitrogen (N) per tree (semi-dwarf); and 1 lb. nitrogen (N) per tree (standard)
Reduce these fertilizer rates if trees become overly vegetative, producing more than 12 to 18 inches of new shoot growth per year).
Fruit thinning is a practice that improves fruit production and overall management of tree fruits.
Disease and insect pest prevention and spray schedule
European pears: Do not allow them to ripen on the tree. The flesh will become gritty and soft. Pick pears when they still are hard and full-sized, with a slight change in the background color. They also will twist off the tree quite easily. Store pears in a refrigerator or other very cool location. They will soften at room temperature.
Asian pears: These can be allowed to tree ripen. Again, look for the color change.