Q:

How do you care for pear trees?

A:

Quick Answer

Pear trees need annual pruning and proper fertilization to provide a crop of healthy fruit. The trees also need to be trained into a growth pattern that promotes healthy branch development. You need fertilizer and pruning shears or a small saw to care for a pear tree, and it takes about 30 minutes for each tree.

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Full Answer

  1. Fertilize according to growth

    Pear trees need fertilizer, but it is easy to give them too much, placing them at danger for blight. At the beginning of the growing season, apply 1/8 pound of ammonium nitrate for every year the tree has been established. Use more fertilizer next year if this year's leaves are yellow or pale green. Decrease the amount of fertilizer next year if the tree grows more than 12 inches in a year.

  2. Prune annually

    When the tree is dormant, use pruning shears or a small saw to cut off dead and broken branches. Remove branches that cross other branches and those that grow downward. Continue removing diseased branches throughout the growing season, and keep new growth thinned enough so lower branches receive sunlight.

  3. Train new branches

    Most pear tree branches naturally grow up, rather than out, and this vertical growth makes the branches too weak to hold mature fruit. Train the side branches by tying a small weight around the branch, which pulls it in a horizontal direction. Another option is to wedge a small stick between the branch and the main trunk to force the branch into an open angle.

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