How to grow a pear tree from seed

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Want to know how to grow a pear tree? Check out the article to know more on how to grow a pear tree from seed, how long does it take to grow a Pear tree from seed, and lots of FAQs related to growing and caring for pear trees.

How to grow a pear tree from seed
How to grow a pear tree from seed

Pear Tree

The pear tree is a deciduous tree (it loses its leaves seasonally) that can grow up to 12 meters in height or more. Almost all pear trees grown for fruit are deciduous, but there are few cultivars (mainly ornamental) that are evergreen.

The pear tree is a member of the Rosacea family. The flowers are produced in the spring. The fruits ripen in branches of 2 or more years. They ripen in late summer or fall, depending on the variety.

The average pear is capable of producing a remarkable amount of fruit between 4 and 6 years of age and can continue to produce until 30 to 40 years of age.

About 70% of the world’s pear production occurs in China, but pear trees are also grown in North and South America, Europe, and Turkey.

How to plant Pear Tree

Let us see how to plant a pear tree. The ideal position for a pear tree is a sunny and protected place, well away from frost. Avoid poorly drained or shallow soils. 

  • You will see pear trees for sale in two forms: plants with bare roots (where the roots are exposed when you buy them) or in containers. Bare roots should be planted from late autumn to early spring; the plants in containers can be planted at any time of the year, although winter is preferred.
  • If you want to train your pear tree, it is worth choosing the right pattern for planting. Once established, pears require very little care during the year.
  • Water them during periods of drought and as soon as the fruits start to swell, especially if they are planted recently or in containers.
  • In early spring, spray the generally balanced fertilizer around the base of the plant, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Pears should be pruned every year for the best harvest. The time and method of pruning a pear tree depend on the type of pear you are growing.

#1 Plant in container

If you want to grow a pear in a container, you should choose one that has been grown especially for it. Pear trees do not grow from their roots. The crown of the tree is grafted into different roots (called the trunk) and the roots control the size of the tree.

Therefore, when choosing a pear for a container, you need to make sure that it is grafted into a container pattern.

Choose a container with a diameter of 18 to 20 inches (45 to 50 cm). When planting, place a few pots (small pieces of broken concrete, clay, or polystyrene pots) at the bottom of the containers to retain moisture. Use a good quality compost or multipurpose compost mixed with a third of the volume of sand.

#2 Plant in the garden

If you are planting a pear tree in the garden, make a hole no deeper than the roots, but up to three times the diameter of the root system (spread the roots in the soil before digging the hole). If the sides or bottom of the planting pit are too hard, break the soil with a fork before planting.

Place the plant in the planting pit and replenish carefully, placing soil between and around all roots to eliminate air pockets. Firmly ground the soil by stepping on it.

  • Spacing: The distance between lines depends on the slope, the closest being on the steepest slope. In mountainous areas, rootstock seedlings are planted at a distance of 5 meters, but for clonal rootstocks, the distance can be reduced to 3 meters.
  • Pit size: A pit of 1m x 1m x1m is dug in these places and filled with a mixture of soil and rotten manure or farm compost.
How long does it take to grow a Pear tree from seed
How long does it take to grow a Pear tree from seed

Where do Pear Trees grow

The pear trees can be grown in a wide range of climatic conditions, as it can tolerate temperatures as low as -26.0°C when dormant and as high as 45.0°C during the growing period. A large number of pear varieties require around 1,200h below 7°C during winter to cool their flowering needs.

However, Bartlett needs about 1,500 hours compared to other pears as a temperature.

Spring frosts are harmful to pears and temperatures of -3.30°C or below kill the open flower. Therefore, plains should be avoided for planting. Areas prone to hail are also unsuitable, as hail storms affect plants and fruits.

It grows best in deep, well-drained, fertile, medium texture, and relatively clay soils. It is more tolerant of damp soils but less tolerant of drought than apples.

Pears grow well in heavy, poorly aerated soils, with a high water table and a heavy texture for most deciduous fruits. In the soil depth of about 180 cm, it is ideal for a good root to grow and fruit production.

Plants that grow in deeper soils provide about twice the production of those that grow in shallow soils. A neutral pH range of 6.0 to 7.5 is desirable because iron deficiency occurs in highly alkaline soils.

Highly fertile soils rich in Nitrogen are not very suitable for growing pears, since the incidence of psylla pear and burns is higher in these soils.

How to grow a Pear tree from seed

How long does it take to grow a Pear tree
How to grow a Pear tree from seed

Step-1:

The first thing we have to do is collect 5-10 ripe pears, preferably 2-3 different varieties. We carefully cut the pears and collect the seeds (try not to cut the seeds with the knife, the damaged seeds will not germinate).

We need to have at least 3 dozen seeds, because, on average, only 1 in 4 seeds will germinate properly and eventually be able to grow and become a young tree.

First, let the seeds dry and then carefully wrap each 2-3 seeds in a damp paper towel. We put each wet towel in a properly sealed plastic bag.

Step-2:

You need to plant the seeds superficially, at a depth of 1.2 inches (3 cm), and cover lightly with soil. Then, you can place the pots at room temperature, next to a large window, so that the seedlings have access to plenty of sunlight.

The most important thing from now on is to keep the pots moist but not soaked (do not overwater). You may need to check that the small pots have a small hole in the bottom for the water to drain.

Step-3:

When the seedlings reach a height of 20 inches (50 cm), you can select the most vigorous 2-3 and transplant them into a larger container or in the sunny part of our yard. When planting in the garden, the planting distance must be at least 25-30 feet.

Remember that pear trees grown from seed can eventually reach a height of 30 feet (9 meters) or more. Consequently, points with physical obstacles (for example, power cables) should be avoided.

How long does it take to grow a Pear tree from seed?

The seeds should germinate and produce green growth in three months. After the pear trees grow 30 cm, you can place them on the floor. Dwarf trees generally produce fruit slightly earlier than standard-size trees, as do Asian pears (Pyrus serotina L.).

Once the pear trees are established and begin to bear fruit, you can expect a harvest within 115 to 165 days after full bloom, or three to five months. Waiting for a pear to start bearing fruit is an exercise in patience, but pear trees reward the grower by bearing fruit for 75 years or more.

Pear trees are among the oldest fruit trees in the orchard.

The cultivation of pear trees from seeds requires patience and careful planning. Be prepared to spend at least a few months simply preparing pear seeds for germination before planting.

If you take good care of your seedlings, you will be able to grow pear trees from seeds that will produce large amounts of fruit year after year.

How long does it take to grow a Pear tree

Expect a newly planted pear to bear fruit four to six years after planting. A 1-year-old nursery must develop side branches before bearing fruit.

A 2-3 year-old potted tree should bear fruit three to four years after transplant. Pears generally produce their first fruits three years after planting, although they do not produce a full harvest for five to seven years. Dwarf trees generally produce fruit a little earlier than standard-sized trees, as do Asian pears (Pyrus serotina L.).

Once the pear trees are established and start to bear fruit, you can expect a harvest within 115 to 165 days after full bloom, or three to five months.

Waiting for a pear to start bearing fruit is an exercise in patience, but pear trees reward the producer by bearing fruit for 75 years or more. Pear trees are among the longest-lived fruit trees in the orchard.

How to grow a Pear tree from a Cutting?

There are a few methods you use to grow a pear from a stake, as mentioned below:

Own rooted cuttings: Inactive cuttings of meritorious pear trees are prepared from young shoots during the month of December. These cuttings are treated with chemicals for 24 hours and placed in moist sand to harden. The hardened seedlings are then planted in the rows of the nursery. These are then grafted/germinated.

Root bud rootstock: Healthy pear root buds separated from October to December with a good root system. These suction cups are grafted into a wedge/tongue and planted in the nursery 15-20 cm apart and 30 cm apart, leaving a 60 cm gap after two rows.

Budding and grafting: Pear plants are commonly propagated by T-budding from April to September or tongue graft made the December to January. In the case of using intermediate material, double protection sprouting is an appropriate method. Whip and tongue graft in January-February to reduce youth.

Do I need 2 Pear trees to produce fruit

Two cultivars are generally needed for successful pollination and fruit set. Most pear trees are not self-pollinating. Most commercial varieties of pear do not produce fruit with seeds and are therefore self-sterile.

Some varieties are partially fruitful and therefore produce fruit with seeds when pollinated. This process is called parthenocarpy.

Cross-pollination improves fruit and increases seed content. The high seed content has been associated with less downward trend in June, levels more elevated minerals in fruits, especially, larger fruit and more uniform shape and firmer fruit.

Plan to plant at least two varieties of pear trees, as they will need cross-pollination to produce fruit. Make sure that the varieties are compatible with each other. Some varieties of pear trees are self-fertile, but most need pollination.

How do you grow a pear tree from a pip

Grow Pear Tree from pip

  • Start by picking up a pear, a plastic cup, four toothpicks, a knife, and some good quality soil for pots.
  • Pour some water into the plastic cup and place it on the counter.
  • Remove the pip from the pea. There should be about 8 pips.
  • Dry 4 pip on a plate for a few days, preferably in a warm place. Then, transfer the dried pip to a plastic bag and store it in the refrigerator. These pips can be stored for a few years in the refrigerator, in case you decide to plant more pears in the future.
  • Place the other 4 pip in the water glass and place it in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days.
  • After 4 or 5 days, remove the glass with the nugget from the refrigerator. Any pip that is floating is not good, so throw them away.
  • Drain the water and fill the glass with multipurpose potting soil.

Planting the pear pip

  • Place a pear pip in each corner of the cup.
  • Place a toothpick next to each pipette to mark the location.
  • Water well and wait 2 to 3 weeks for the seedlings to appear.
  • Once your seedlings have four or more true leaves, transplant them into a full-sized pot.
  • Once the seedlings are out of the pot, transplant the tree outside, as long as the weather is warm (you can start in early spring, as soon as the last frost has passed).
  • You can also transplant the seedlings into a larger pot and simply move it outside and indoors according to the weather.
  • Make sure to place your tree in a sunny location and where there are not many trees or other plants around.
  • Water your pear regularly.

Pear Tree Care

Let us see how to care pear trees.

  • March: For existing trees, prune before the start of growth, after the coldest season has passed.
  • April, May: If last year’s growth was less than 12 inches, apply mulch around the base of the tree.
  • April, May: Plant bare-rooted trees as soon as the soil can be worked.
  • May, June: Plant trees in pots after the threat of frost has passed.
  • May-October: Water the trees as you would any other tree in your yard, especially during dry spells.
  • June, July: Choose the smallest pears to stimulate the largest fruits.
  • August to October: Harvest
  • October, November: Raking and composting of fallen leaves and fruits.
  • November: Apply tree wrap in late fall to avoid winter injury.
  • November through March: Watch for damage from deer and rats; put a fence around the tree if necessary.

Do Pear trees bear fruit every year?

No, pear trees do not bear fruit every year. European pear trees need cold winters with approximately 900 hours of cold to bloom, so they do not grow well in temperate areas. Asian pears are resistant in the US Department of Agriculture’s robustness zones 9 and 10. Pear trees tend to bloom every two years unless you intervene.

Young pear trees take several years to mature enough to produce fruit. Many pear trees will begin to produce a small amount of fruit in the third year.

Pear trees may not bloom after an abundant harvest in the previous year. This is because the next year’s flower buds form as the current year’s crop matures. Supporting an abundant harvest can prevent the tree from forming new flower buds.

This leads to a flowering cycle every two years. In young trees, only a few fruits are needed to prevent the formation of flower buds.

Some varieties of pears continue to experience this problem throughout life, while others begin to produce flowers annually as they ripen. Excess nitrogen fertilizer causes rapid growth at the expense of flowers.

As each soil is different, there is no definite recommendation for fertilizers for pear trees. Examine the tips of the branches to decide if the tree is getting too much fertilizer.

If a branch adds more than 18 to 20 inches in one year, skip or reduce the fertilizer the following year. Do not fertilize the tree for years, when you prune a lot.

Pear tree diseases black leaves

The bacterium Erwinia amylovora can infect a pear tree with fatal effects. This bacterium causes the disease known as rust, which makes the tree’s leaves look burnt or scorched. The revealing symptoms of fire burn include blackened and deformed leaves that remain attached to the tree, deformation of the fruit, and exudation of the bark.

Insecticides and fungicides are not effective against Erwinia amylovora; if your pear tree is infected with this bacterium, all you can do is to prune all infected areas and hope for the best. You should prune 30 centimeters below the lowest infection visible on the tree.

Clean the pruning tools thoroughly before using them on another pear, as bacteria can spread to the healthy tree with pruning shears.

Pear tree diseases and pests

Let us check about various Pear tree diseases and pests.

Pear tree diseases and pests
Pear tree diseases and pests

#1 Fire Blight

Pears are very susceptible to fire. Flowers, terminal branches, and sometimes branches or entire trees are killed. The environmental conditions that favor the infection are the hot and rainy days during flowering.

Rain, intense dew, and insects spread the bacteria that drip onto the flowers, where new infections occur. Infected flowers and buds will turn black; the leaves of the dead shoots remain trapped. The infected branches wither at the tip, in the form of a shepherd’s crook.

#2 Crown rot and root rot

Crown and root rot are caused by a fungus-like organism found in the soil (Phytophthora). This pathogen is present in most soils, but it only causes infection when the soils are saturated with water and there is a host tree.

The pathogen grows rapidly in exchange, around the tree. Once the trees are infected, there is no cure.

#3 Pseudomonas Blight

This disease is known by many names, including pest of flowers, pest of lilacs, pest of false fire and pest of Pseudomonas. The latter is preferred because it distinguishes this disease from the fire plague.

These two diseases have striking similarities, especially in the flowering stages of the infection. However, they can be easily disseminated following the evolution of symptoms, starting with the initial stage of infection.

#4 Codling Moth

One of the most serious insect pests of pear is the apple moth (Laspeyresia pomonella L.), which must be controlled with a regular, timed and well-applied annual spray program. The insect is harmful only at the larva or worm stage.

Young larvae bury themselves in the fruit, either through the stem or the tips of the chalice or laterally, usually at points where two fruits touch each other or where a leaf touches a fruit. After feeding under the skin for a few days, the larvae go to the center of the fruit, where they feed on the seeds and the heart.

#5 Oriental fruit moth

It attacks pears and other deciduous fruits. White-pink worms bury themselves in the fruit in the same way as those of the apple moth and cannot be easily differentiated. These pests spend the winter in cocoons like adult worms and occur over several generations in one season.

Normally, if the apple moth is controlled with pears, the eastern moth will not do much harm. Pheromone bait traps are also available for the eastern moth. These traps can be useful in a similar way to the apple moth.

#6 Leaf Roller  

The leaves rolls of trees fruit overwinter as egg masses on twigs and branches. The eggs hatch in early spring and the young larvae feed on leaves, tying or folding them over the edge of a single leaf and tying them with silk. The larva lives inside the tunnel thus created.

Adults appear in late spring or early summer, depending on geographic location, and lay eggs that will give rise to the second generation. The damage caused by the larvae that feed on the fruit consists of deep, irregular holes with rough scar tissue. The young fruits on which they feed can be small and deformed.

#7 Pear Psylla

Adults of psylla pear hibernate outside the orchard as adults and fly to pear trees in early spring to lay eggs on buds and branches.

Nymphs are born in the spring and, when feeding on leaves and fruits, secrete molasses in abundance. The psylla, the pear, can also transmit a disease called “pear decline”, which can kill trees slowly over several years.

It can be recognized by symptoms such as sticky honeydew on leaves and fruits and, sometimes, sooty black mold, random charred appearance on leaves, fall of leaves, and decreased fruit production.

The best control is achieved with an inactive oil spray to kill newly laid eggs. If you need to spray during the growing season, use a spray of 1% oil, insecticidal soap, or spinosad.

#8 Pear-Leaf Blister Mite

Pear leaf bubble mites are microscopic mites from the group of eryophytes. They bury themselves under the leaves and live in small bubbles during the summer. Adults hibernate under the scales of leaf buds and emerge with new leaves in the spring.

Very high populations can reduce photosynthesis and the vigor of the tree and are ugly. Lower populations can be tolerated. Treat large infestations in the early fall, before the leaves fall, when the mites are migrating from the leaves to the buds.

Options include carbaryl, horticulture oil, and lime sulfur.

#9 Spider mites

As they feed, they remove sap and chlorophyll from the leaves. Pears cannot tolerate large populations of mites and the symptoms are different from other trees. Predatory mites that feed on mites can provide effective biological control if they are not damaged by pesticides.

It can be effective to wash trees or plants with a strong jet of water or apply insecticidal soap or 1% horticulture mineral oil every 5-7 days until the mite density decreases. Avoid applying soaps or oils during the hot part of the day, as this can cause burns on the leaves.

#10 Orchard mites

Orchard mites are the main pests of pear, often causing great damage. Damage usually appears as bubbles in the foliage for the first time; feeding on the fruit before and during the flowering period produces red and depressed spots.

The stages of post-harvest dormancy and late are the best times for applying sprays to control the mite blister sheet of pear. The infested foliage tans as the mites feed; in fruit, the damage takes the form of a soft scale of the skin, which usually appears first under the cup and then spreads over the surface of the fruit.

#11 Sucking Bug

Various types of sucking insects can attack the pear. These include lygus insects (Lygus spp.). They are small greyish or greenish insects about a quarter of an inch long. They can cause the buds to fall in the spring or the fruits to deform.

Infestations of these plant-sucking insects are usually local and can occur at any time during the season.

#12 Thrips

These insects are about twenty – five inches long, thin and have a dark brown color. Adults can be found on buds that open, where they can prevent flowers from producing fruit.

Later, the white larvae feed on the developing pears and cause them to burn.

Pear Tree Diseases Rust

The spots on the pear tree are the result of Gymnosporangium sabinae fungal infection. The first sign of pear rust is the small but very visible spots on the leaves of bright orange that increase in size on the surface of the pear leaf.

Pear Tree Diseases Rust
Pear Tree Diseases Rust

A closer inspection will reveal the typical growths of rust fungi on the underside of the leaves. These spots on the leaves of the rust fungus harbor spores that are easily spread by the wind. The spots are bright orange in color and, as they mature, the underside of the leaf develops a bulky growth from which small “fingers” protrude, from which the fungus spreads its spores.

These spots begin in late spring on the upper surface of the leaves, about 1/8 to ¼ inch in diameter.

A pear rust infection will not kill your pear, as it lives only on living tissue, and a dead tree is useless for the smart rust fungus.

However, this will weaken the tree during the current and next year. After feeding on your particular pear tree, the pear rust fungus will move through the spore transport.

The disease does not spread to other pear trees but affects neighboring junipers that develop bumps on the stems that later turn into orange corneal lumps.        

Junipers harbor the fungus during the winter until the following spring when it returns to the pear trees. The fruit can be affected, but this is much less common.

In continental Europe, the fungus can also cause perennial cancer (lesions on the bark) on the branches, which can be particularly harmful to young trees.

However, until now, they were not common in the UK. This disease mainly causes cosmetic damage to pear trees and is considered an uncomfortable problem, instead of causing significant damage to the health of the tree.

Therefore, monitoring is optional and generally not recommended, unless the tree is experiencing substantial leaf fall.

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Conclusion

I hope you got an idea on how to grow a pear tree from seed. Also got answers to below questions:

  • How to plant Pear Tree
  • Where do Pear Trees grow
  • How to grow a Pear tree from seed
  • How long does it take to grow a Pear tree from seed?
  • How long does it take to grow a Pear tree
  • How to grow a Pear tree from a Cutting?
  • Do I need 2 Pear trees to produce fruit
  • How do you grow a pear tree from a pip
  • Pear Tree Care
  • Do Pear trees bear fruit every year?
  • Pear tree diseases black leaves
  • Pear tree diseases and pests
  • Pear Tree Diseases Rust

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