Asian Pears: These pears ripen a little on the early side, often by late August, early September. The crunchy texture and creamy white flesh of the Asian Pear is exceptionally juicy! They are round, sweet and crisp. Some say they eat like an apple but taste like a pear. Unlike regular pears, the Asian Pear is sold ripe and maintain their crisp texture long after they’ve been picked.
The Grange offers three varieties of Asian Pears:
If you plan to plant pears, plant at least two varieties because they need to be cross-pollinated to produce fruit. Just make sure that they’re compatible with each other.
Why is pollination so important?
Because you want fruit! Some trees need pollination to grow fruit. Here are some of the basics of fruit tree pollination:
- Most fruit trees require pollination between two or more trees for fruit to set.
- Pollination occurs when the trees blossom.
- Pollen from the anthers (the male part of the plant) has to be transferred to the stigma (the female part of the plant). Completed pollination fertilizes the tree and fruit grows. Otherwise, flowers grow, but not fruit.
- Pollination can be performed by birds, wind or insects. The most common fruit-tree pollinator is the honeybee that gathers nectar from the flowers, simultaneously transferring pollen between them. (A single honeybee may visit as many as 5,000 flowers in a single day.)
How it’s done:
- For best pollination, don’t plant fruit trees more than 100 feet apart.
- Consider the fruit harvest. Fruit that’s not picked eventually will fall from the tree. Place the tree where fallen fruit won’t cause a problem — away from decks, driveways and walking paths.
- Fertilizer isn’t recommended immediately after planting trees. They go through a kind of shock when they’re put into the ground, and fertilizer can burn tender roots. Water is all that’s needed at first. Spread pine bark mulch in a 4-foot diameter about 6 inches deep around the tree to help retain moisture. Don’t use hardwood bark because it can release acids that lower nitrogen levels, which can weaken the tree.
- Once the tree is established, use a mild, slow-release fertilizer, like a 10-10-10, for the first year, following the manufacturer’s directions. This promotes root growth, the overall health of the tree and a strong bud set, which leads to better pollination.
- Water fruit trees once a week during dry spells, especially during the first two years after planting. Allowing a tree to go dry can cause a weak bud set or even cause the flowers to drop early. That means poor pollination and little or no fruit. Apply enough water to soak several inches into the soil.
- Spray the trees with dormant oil to smother mites and insect eggs that later emerge and damage the buds. Spray it on the trees while they’re dormant, on one of the warmest and sunniest days in February. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for mixing and application, as well as all of the safety recommendations, like wearing a respirator, gloves and goggles.
- To help honeybees pollinate fruit trees, don’t apply pesticides during bloom time. Bees are very susceptible to almost all pesticides. And even if other insects are the target, the bee population can be seriously damaged.
- Remove nearby dandelions and other broad leaf weed flowers before the trees blossom so the bees won’t be distracted from their fruit-tree pollination job.
Here are our 2017 Fruit Tree varieties: