Here’s everything you need to know to grow your own bountiful pear tree. Whether you want an old heritage variety or a newer hybrid, if you follow the advice from these independent bloggers, YouTubers and Instagrammers you’ll be on the right path to a healthy tree and bumper crops.
Browse our collection of apple and pear trees to find the perfect variety for your garden. From dwarf patio fruit trees to full-sized orchard specimens, there’s something for everyone.
John Harrison – Allotment & Gardens
You can plant container-grown pear trees all year round, but if you opt for a bare-root whip, try to plant it in the autumn, says gardening guru John at Allotment & Gardens. Be sure to choose a spot that’s sheltered from frost because the blossom comes early and cold temperatures can damage the buds. “A south-facing wall or fence is ideal,” he says. Read John’s article on growing pears for more top planting advice.
Thompson and Morgan
If you only have room for one fruit tree but can’t decide on a variety, why not try a ‘family’ pear tree? “These multi-grafted fruit trees are self-pollinating and versatile,” say the experts at Thompson & Morgan. They allow you to enjoy three different varieties of pear from one tree without having to start a full-sized orchard. For more pear-growing tips, read the full article on how to grow fruit trees.
Ann Marie Hendry – GrowVeg.com
“You’ll almost certainly need at least a pair of compatible pears for good pollination,” says Ann-Marie at GrowVeg.com. They’re split into four groups for pollination, so make sure to get two from the same group (or adjacent groups), she says. Read her interesting article on how to grow pears for advice on getting a good crop, avoiding disease, harvesting and more.
Tony O’Neill – Simplify Gardening
“By planting your tree as a cordon you actually get more fruit from a given area,” says gardening expert Tony O’Neill from Simplify Gardening. Watch Tony’s video guide to growing cordon pears to see how he plants six bare root fruit trees in one bed at his allotment. Inspired to maximise your own growing space? Check out Tony’s info-packed YouTube channel.
Lee – Garden Ninja
We prune pear trees “to stop the tree from putting all its energy into sending out branches rather than fruit,” explains Lee over at Garden Ninja. He recommends pruning your pear during the winter months for the best results. It can be scary to start cutting bits off, so read Lee’s excellent article on how to prune pear trees for a wealth of practical tips.
Mandy Bradshaw – Thompson & Morgan
Patio pear trees are low-maintenance and compact. When you come to prune your miniature tree, “begin by removing any dead, diseased or weak growth as well as any branches that are crossing,” says Mandy Bradshaw in her expert guest post for Thompson & Morgan. See Mandy’s full article on pruning patio fruit trees to keep your dwarf trees trimmed neatly to size and covered in fruit.
How do you know when a pear is ready to pick? “You do a 90 degree lift and, if the fruit stays on the tree, leave it to ripen. It’s still developing flavour,” says no-dig expert Charles Dowding. Watch his helpful video for a fascinating lesson about different rootstocks and expert growing advice.
Penny Foxwell – @plotandpantry
Self-sufficiency expert and Instagrammer Penny Foxwell recommends preserving your pears in sterilised jars in a light sugar syrup. “You can add cinnamon, cardamom or star anise if you want. The pears will last at least a year and look gorgeous on your pantry shelves,” she says. It’s also a good way to transform a less sweet variety of pear – check out her page @plotandpantry to find out more!
The Orchard Project
From muffins to marmalade, there are plenty of delicious ways to use a glut of pears, say the experts at The Orchard Project. If you have too many pears to eat straight away, “wrap each fruit in black and white newspaper and store them in shallow cardboard boxes or on open-slatted shelves in a cool, dark place.” Find an excellent selection of recipes and top tips in their article on how to use up a glut of delicious fruit.
“Last year’s success seemed to be a pear and frangipane tart,” says first time allotmenteer Shannon. Her mature pear tree appreciated some winter pruning TLC and produced baskets of beautiful blossoms in spring followed by tonnes of ripe fruit. Find out which tasty pear recipe is planned for this year’s bumper crop over at her Instagram page @shannons_seedlings.
Find more information on growing fruit at our fruit tree hub page. Don’t forget to share your juicy harvest with us via social media!
Since the first seed catalogue was published in 1855, Thompson & Morgan has grown to become one of the UK’s largest Mail Order Seed and Plant companies. Through the publication of our catalogues and the operation of our award-winning website, Thompson & Morgan is able to provide home gardeners with the very best quality products money can buy.