It used to be said that you planted Pears for your heirs! Not anymore; with the advent of dwarfing stocks and improved growing methods you can now have a Pear tree yielding bountifully in your garden within 2/3 seasons. There can be no finer treat than sampling a juicy rich Pear straight from the tree and still warm from the sun.
FIRST CHOOSE YOUR ROOTSTOCK
As with all fruit trees, a Pear is grafted on to a rootstock. This determines how big the tree will grow so it’s important to get the right one.
Quince C Is generally the smallest stock, growing to around 8’ in height and width, it can be controlled to smaller dimensions still. Ideal for a small bush tree and also the preferred choice for cordons and column growing.
Quince A A bit bigger than the above, Quince A may grow 10-12’ or more. Ideal for an orchard setting, paddock, larger lawn etc, and also ideal for fan and espalier growing.
Seedling Pear rootstocks Are very old stocks and generally unused these days. But if you want a super-vigorous stock for a very large area then you may still find them of use. It is also very hardy.
SELF FERTILE VARIETIES
Unless you want to grow 2 or more Pears choose from this list of self compatibile varieties.
The first 3 are the most satisfactory.
OTHER VARIETIES OF NOTE
Beth is recommended because it’s pretty primrose fruits ripen early and can be enjoyed straight from the tree, often from late August.
Doyenne du Comice is known as the ‘Queen of Pears’ because it is so large and so tenderly juicy. But it needs a warm favourable aspect to yield well and also needs good pollination.
Humbug is a new novelty with charming striped fruits and a lovely taste too.
Williams Bon Chretien is the ultimate Pear eating experience with its super-sweet musky flavour and absolutely dripping with juice.
Make sure the above varieties are planted with another different tree to pollinate.
SITING & SOIL
Pears need a bit more sun and warmth than apples so give them a good aspect. Soil-wise a good deep loam is to be preffered but poorer soils can be improved prior to planting for good results.
GROWING PEARS AGAINST A WALL
You can fan train or espalier train your Pears against a west or south facing wall. Make sure you have at least 8’ in width and 6-8’ in height to accommodate your tree.