Mention pear trees, and most people assume them as fruit bearing cultivars. However, there are many flowering pear tree varieties that are exclusively grown for aesthetic purposes. Even those fruiting types blossom with attractive flowers in specific seasons. Both are excellent trees for growing in front yard landscapes. So, it is up to you to decide which pear tree types you prefer to grow in the yard. In both cases, you can grow them easily with simple gardening tips.
Different Types of Pear Trees
Fruiting pear trees are very hardy and can tolerate a wide range of soil and climatic conditions. The same is with most types of flowering pear trees. Both fruiting and ornamental pear trees require elevated planting site (if available), full sunlight, and heavy soil supplemented with rich compost. If you have areas that meet such growth requirements, you will definitely succeed in harvesting sweet pear fruits.
Barlett Pear Tree
Commercially, Barlett is the most widely planted pear tree type in the United States. Found in red flesh and yellowish-green flesh, it contributes to about 70 percent of the pear sold in the market. The fruit is large, round-shaped, and smooth-fleshed. Taste wise, it is sweet and has typical pear flavor. Barlett pear tree variety grows best in zones 5 - 7 and can spread to more than 15 feet.
Orient Pear Tree
The Orient is another popularly grown pear tree cultivar. Known for its large, oval-shaped, yellow-skinned fruit, it is suited for planting in the USDA hardiness zones 5 - 8. At maturity, the tree grows to about 12 - 20 feet height with nearly similar spread. When compared to the Barlett pear, this variety produces a juicier and slightly coarser flesh. Orient pear is excellent for eating fresh and canning.
Asian Pear Tree
Asian pear tree is well-known for its round-shaped, firm and crisp-textured fruits, almost similar to apples. Hence, it are also known as apple-pear. There are about 10 cultivars of Asian pear. Fruits should be picked at early stages, preferably before they attain maturity. They can be consumed immediately or stored for an extended period. For this versatility, most people prefer to grow Asian pear trees. You can plant them in sunlit areas after frosting is over.
European Pear Tree
European pear trees comprise a few commercially important cultivars (Barlett is one of them), but they are excellent for growing in temperate climatic conditions. To induce fruit bearing, the plants require a short chilling period. The fruits are soft, sweet, and juicier as compared to Asian pears. And unlike Asian types, you should pick European pears when they are matured, but not ripe. A major concern with this pear variety is susceptibility to fire blight disease.
Some of the popular pear cultivars are Hosui, Shinko, Bosc, d'Anjou, and Kieffer. Before incorporating any of these varieties in your garden or orchard, make sure you analyze specific plant requirements and adaptability to your region. These trees, irrespective of the type, usually bloom in spring, while a few species are late bloomers. By planting the fruiting varieties, you can enjoy the blossoms as well as the juicy fruits.
Things to Know about Growing Pear Trees
- While growing fruiting cultivars, examine the mode of pear tree pollination beforehand to ensure high fruit yield.
- This is because most of the Asian pears and some European cultivars exhibit cross-pollination, which require companion plantation of another pear tree for pollination purpose.
- You can take advice from the horticulturist about the pear types that you can grow together to get a higher yield.
- In case of self-pollinated types, planting the trees adjacent to each other is not mandatory.
- Pear tree propagation can be done from seeds, though the fruiting period is quite long.
- In order to shorten the fruit bearing stage, you can purchase tree seedlings or grafted saplings sold in nurseries.
- They can be grown in any area where apples can grow and bear fruits.
- Also, similar to apples, all types of pear trees require training and regular pruning to ensure healthy growth. Provide optimal growth conditions and your trees will bear fruits within 3 - 5 years of plantation.
As you already know about different types of fruit bearing pears, choose and plant the varieties suited to the climatic conditions in your area.