With hundreds of pear varieties, we have selected a range to crop over the season and a mix of appearances – Wiliams, Packham, Buerre Bosc, Corella, Faccia Rosa (a cocktail pear), San Giovanni. Pears are frost sensitive at flowering but hopefully the last frost will have passed in Newstead. A mix of varieties will aide pollination.
Autumn – Harvest. Clean up and compost fallen fruit and leaves to minimise pests and disease. Apply good dose of compost. Weed. Mulch with basalt dust or sow a good bug mix around the base of the tree to create a living mulch and attract pollinators and predator insects.
Winter – Planting or transplanting time. Prune for structure. Feed with compost. Consider a tree paste application or BD 500 application.
Spring – Put codling moth pheremone traps out and sticky banding around the trunks for pest control. Sow spring good bug mix around tree as a living mulch. Foliar spray of seaweed and wormjuice each month.
Summer – Keep plants mulched and watered. Pear and Cherry Slug may become a problem, so dust trees with woodash or diatomaceous earth, or try soap spray. Thin fruits. Late summer prune for fruit production.
Generally – Pears take to pruning well and are usually espaliered because they grow so vigorously. More on espaliering here from Woodbridge Fruit Trees in Tasmania, a good authority on the topic. And here from Flemings Nurseries. Also see Simon Rickards notes.
Eating – Pears are one fruit that are picked green and ripen off the tree. Especially the early pears, which will go woody if left too long on the tree. Kept in a cool, dark place and away from bruised or mouldy fruit, they will store for months. Don’t store near apples though. Fresh, poached, mulled, stewed, baked, in a cake with fresh ginger, in a salad with rocket or watercress and hard cheese.