When Does A Pear Tree Bear Fruit?


If you have planted pear trees recently, you may not have any fruit on the branches yet.  In that case, you may be wondering when pear trees bear fruit, and whether you might be doing something wrong.

So, when does a pear tree bear fruit?  Pear trees bloom in late February to mid-April and bear fruit in mid-August to mid-October.  A pear tree will bear fruit 4 to 6 years after planting, and dwarf varieties will bear fruit 3 to 4 years after planting.

Of course, the time that a pear tree blooms and produces fruit will depend on the variety you plant and the climate you live in.  Generally, you will need to wait at least 3 or 4 years before you start seeing fruit from your pear tree.  You may need to wait even longer for a full harvest.

There are also other environmental factors, such as pollination, that will determine how well a pear tree produces, and whether it bears fruit at all.  Let’s take a closer look at pear trees, when they bear fruit, and the factors that affect your harvest.

When Does A Pear Tree Bear Fruit?

Some varieties of pear trees will bear fruit as early as August.  However, there are others that will bear fruit as late as October.

Generally, the white flowers on a pear tree will bloom in late February to mid-April.  The fruit will appear on the tree a couple of months later, and it will be ready for harvest another 1 to 2 months after that.

pear blossom
Pear tree blossoms are white and show up in late February to mid-April.

Do Pear Trees Produce Fruit Every Year?

No, pear trees do not produce fruit every year.  Young pear trees take several years to mature enough to produce fruit.

Many pear trees will start producing a small amount of fruit in their third year.  Full fruit production may not occur until 4 to 6 years into the tree’s life.

red pears
This red pear has the shape that many people are familiar with.

Remember that dwarf varieties can start producing fruit a year or two sooner than standard varieties.  Also keep in mind that trees purchased from a nursery will already be one or two years old.

So, if you want to get fruit sooner rather than later, consider buying an established dwarf pear tree from a nursery.  That way, you may very well get your first pear harvest within a year or two of buying and planting the tree.

For more information, check out this article on pears from the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Remember that if you plant a seed harvested from a pear tree, you may end up growing a tree that will never bear fruit.  To ensure fruit production, buy established trees from a nursery.

For more information, check out my article on the difference between organic and heirloom seeds, and my article on the pros and cons of hybrid seeds.

Remember that in some cases, a pear tree will be biennial bearing.  This simply means that they only flower every other year.  This means that you would only get fruit every other year.

Biennial bearing is more common in younger trees.  It often occurs when you have one year when the tree produces lots of fruit.  After that, the tree’s reserves are exhausted, and it must “rest” for a year before producing lots of flowers and fruit again.

To counter biennial bearing, use fruit thinning.  This involves pinching off some of the flowers or fruit that appear on the tree.

brown pear
To prevent biennial bearing, you may have to pull off some immature fruit if the pear tree sets a very heavy load.

Fruit thinning will prevent biennial bearing.  It will also reduce the risk that excessive fruit production will damage or break branches.  The entire pear tree can fall over in some cases, especially in high winds!

For more information, check out this article on fruit trees from the Penn State University Extension.

How Much Fruit Does A Pear Tree Produce?

The amount of fruit you get from your pear tree depends on lots of environmental conditions.  It also depends on the variety you planted.

For European varieties, a pear tree will produce 4-6 bushels of fruit, and a dwarf tree will produce 2-3 bushels of fruit.  Examples of European pear varieties include Anjou, Bartlett, and Colette.

Asian pears
The harvest you get depends on the type of pear tree you plant: European or Asian, standard height or dwarf, it all makes a difference.

For Asian varieties, a pear tree will produce 3-6 bushels of fruit, and a dwarf tree will produce 1-3 bushels of fruit.  Examples of Asian pear varieties include Hosui, Kosui, and Shinseiki.

A bushel of pears weighs about 50 pounds.  That means that most healthy trees will produce at least 50 pounds of fruit per year.  You could get up to 150 pounds of fruit from a dwarf pear tree and up to 300 pounds of fruit from a very productive full-size pear tree!

For more information, check out this article on fruit tree yields on the Stark Brothers website.

Pear trees can live to be 50 years old or more, ensuring that you get many good years of harvests if you care for them properly.

What Kind Of Pear Tree Should I Plant?

When selecting a pear tree, make sure that you choose one that can be grown in your climate!  For more information, check out the USDA Zone Hardiness Map to find out which zone you are in.

Here are some different varieties of pear trees that you might want to try.

If you only want to buy one tree and still get fruit, check out these self-pollinating pear trees on the Stark Brothers website.

It will take quite a few years for a pear tree to grow to this size!

Do You Have to Have Two Pear Trees To Produce Fruit?

In most cases, you will need at least two pear trees, each of a different variety, to produce fruit.  This is because most pear tree varieties are not self-pollinating (also called self-unfruitful).  Thus, they cannot produce fruit from their own pollen.

It is important to remember that two pear trees of same variety cannot pollinate each other.  Therefore, if you want fruit from your trees, you will need at least 2 different varieties for successful cross pollination to occur.

There are exceptions, of course, including the Colette Everbearing Pear (mentioned above), along with some others, available the Stark Brothers website.

What Other Factors Affect Fruit On Pear Trees?

Of course, the amount of care you give your pear trees will have a huge impact on the amount of fruit that they produce.  Some important factors that can affect fruit yield include temperature, watering, fertilizing, and pruning.

Temperature

Temperature is tricky, since pear trees will not be able to survive prolonged, excessive cold.  Also, a late spring frost has the potential to kill all of the buds or flowers and prevent the tree from growing any pears that year.

On the other hand, mild winters are another scenario that may prevent your pear tree from producing.  Most fruit trees, including pear trees, need a certain number of chilling hours in the winter.

A chilling hour is simply an hour when the tree is exposed to a temperature from 32 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit (0 to 7 degrees Celsius).  Most pear trees need 600 to 1000 chilling hours each winter, in order to break dormancy so they can produce flowers and fruit.  However, there are some low-chill pear trees that only require 400 chilling hours.

This may be frustrating if you live in a warm area, but it is nature’s way of protecting the tree.  If the tree flowers too early during a mild winter, a late spring frost can kill all of the flowers and destroy any chance of a pear harvest that year.

Before purchasing pear trees online, make sure that your climate gets enough chilling hours in the winter to produce fruit, while also staying warm enough to keep the tree alive.

For more information, check out this article on chilling hours from the University of California.

Watering

When you water your pear trees, make sure to give them deep, infrequent waterings.  This will stimulate the root system to grow deeper and more extensive, rather than remaining shallow and hovering near the surface of the soil.

garden hose
Be careful not to under or over water your pear trees!

For more information, check out this article on growing pears from the University of Minnesota Extension.

Remember that it is possible to over water your plants, in terms of both amount of water and frequency of watering.  For more information, check out my article on over watering your plants.

Fertilizing

Before you plant your pear tree, make sure to work plenty of compost into your soil.  This ensures that the tree has plenty of organic material, and it also provides important nutrients.  For more information, check out my article on how to make your own compost.

compost bin
Compost should be your first line of defense against nutrient deficiencies. Fertilizer should be used as a supplement only if necessary.

You may also need to fertilize to supplement important nutrients, especially if the soil quality in your yard is poor.  The best way to determine this is to do a soil test.  For more information, check out my article on how to do a soil test.

Finally, remember that it is possible to over fertilize your trees.  This is especially true if you use a high-nitrogen fertilizer when it is unnecessary to do so.  For more information, check out my article on over fertilizing and my article on low-nitrogen fertilizer.

Pruning

Pruning your pear trees is a good way to keep the plant looking good.  It also helps to ensure that your trees are producing enough healthy, good-size fruit without breaking their branches.

Pears produce fruit on wood that is 2 to 3 years old.  This means that a branch will not produce any fruit in its first year.  If you see any tall, thin, vertical branches coming up from the pear tree, cut them back to allow more horizontal growth.

For more information, check out this article on pear pruning from harvestotable.com.

Conclusion

By now, you have a much better idea of when to expect your pear trees to produce fruit.  You also know how to take care of them to get the best chance of a successful harvest in late summer to early fall.

I hope you found this article helpful – if so, please share it with someone else who can use the information.  If you have any questions on pear trees, please leave a comment below.

If you have other types of fruit trees, you might want to check out my article on when a fig tree bears fruit, my article on when a cherry tree bears fruit, and my article on when a peach tree bears fruit.

jonathon.david.madore

Hi, I'm Jon. Let's solve your gardening problems, spend more time growing, and get the best harvest every year!

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