Unfruiting pear trees #780614

Asked January 22, 2022, 10:23 AM EST

We moved into our home this last summer. It has several fruit trees in the backyard. All have produced fruit except two pear trees. They’re both about 8 feet tall, planted about 6 feet from each other. The previous owner couldn’t figure out why they never produced. Is it possible to correct this?

Multnomah County Oregon

Expert Response


One or several factors are commonly responsible for lack of fruiting fruit trees, among them these:
- the trees are pruned too severely;
- excessive shade;
- excessive fertilizer;
- lack of adequate soil moisture when fruit buds are developing -- during July or August for most fruit trees;
- lack of a pollinator tree which, in your case, would be a different pear cultivar.

That said, Asian pears are capable of modest crops, even if they lack cross pollination with a second Asian pear cultivar.

And, if the trees are European pears, only Bartlett, Comice, and Hardy will produce fruits without a pollinator cultivar nearby. (However, an appropriate pollinator tree will help boost yields.)

Even then, as with Asian pears, other limiting factors include unsuitable weather, including rainfall and/or freezing temperatures during bloom; and/or excessive shade.

But, all pears will produce larger harvests if a second cultivar of pear tree is in the vicinity. However, Asian pears won't pollinate European kinds. And vice versa.

So, most likely, the shortest road to determining why your two pear trees aren't producing fruit is to contact the previous owner to determine the cultivar names of the two trees. (You can probably do so by going through the realtors involved in the sale. If not, a neighbor may

After you know the cultivar names of the pear trees, send them to me in a reply to this email
Jean R. Natter Replied January 24, 2022, 4:06 PM EST

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