Pear tree self pollinating

Fruit Tree Spacing & Pollination Guide


semi-dwarf 12′ – 15″ **
semi-dwarf 12′ x 12′ ++

Pollination Guide


In order to have fruit from apple and pear trees, you need a second tree for cross-pollination. As long as the second tree is within 500 feet (150 m), pollination should occur. Within city limits, most apple and pear trees will be pollinated by insects carrying pollen from the neighbours’ trees.

If your apple or pear trees are not performing well, the following trouble-shooting list may help you to determine why:

• Cool, rainy weather conditions during flowering.

Unfortunately, other than hoping for better luck next year, there is nothing to be done.

• Old, unproductive trees that do not flower.

Generally, apple and pear trees have a productive life span of about 30 to 40 years. Trees older than this should be replaced; we do however, know of a 70-year-old apple tree that continues to produce heavily each year. Trees can be rejuvenated by removing old, unproductive growth and allowing new growth to replace it.

• A poor crop the year following a bumper crop.

Some apple varieties have a tendency to perform biennially, with a great crop one year, not much the next, and a better crop again the third year.

• No tree of the same genus (i.e. Malus) nearby.

It is best to pollinate fruit trees of the same genus with each other — apples with apples, or pears with pears — but pears can cross-pollinate with apples, as long as both trees bloom at the same time.

• The other cultivar in yard is sterile.

Some but not all ornamental crabapple trees work for cross-pollination purposes. A few varieties have sterile pollen.

• Lack of pollinating insects, such as bees.

Try adding to your flowerbeds. Most flowering plants are almost guaranteed to attract bees. The annual herb borage and the perennial beebalm (Monarda) are especially good for this purpose. Because their flowering times coincide with those of many fruit trees, marigolds, pansies, spurge, trollius, and arabis are the best choices.

• The trees are of the same variety.

Clones will not pollinate each other; for example, a Norland apple tree cannot pollinate another Norland apple tree.


European apricots are self-pollinating. Only one tree is needed for fruit production. Manchurian and Siberian apricots fruit more dependably when other apricot varieties or Nanking cherries are nearby.


• Sour cherries are self-pollinating; only one tree is needed for fruit production. Carmine Jewel, Crimson Passion, Evans, Montmorency, Northstar and Latowski fall into this category.

• Plums and cherry-plums are divided into five different groups: American Hybrids, Damson, European, Japanese and Native. The plums that we grow here fall into only 3 of these groups: American Hybrids, Japanese and Native.

In order for cross-pollination to occur, it is essential that the varieties bloom at the same time. Varieties that bloom mid-season will cross-pollinate both early and late-blooming varieties, as well as other mid-season bloomers.

Many chokecherries will also aid in cross-pollination. The closer the relationship between species, the larger and more abundant the fruit will be.


Grapes are self-pollinating. Cross-pollination is not essential, but some hybrids may have non-viable pollen. In this case, purchasing 2 or more varieties would solve the problem. Regular pruning is essential for fruit production. To do this, remove all suckers from the base of leaves after the end of June. Remove ends of canes two to three leaves past the last fruit cluster. Remove all non-producing canes.


Blueberries are self-pollinating, but two or more varieties will result in better yields and larger berries.


Currants and gooseberries are self-pollinating. Excellent fruit production can be obtained with just one plant. If currants are grown near gooseberries or jostaberries however, yields can be even better!

Black currants perform better when different cultivars are grown together. Note that black currants will not cross with red or white currants; the reverse is also true.


Strawberries, raspberries and saskatoons are all self-pollinating.

Kieffer Pear Tree

Delicious Pears in Only One Year

Why Kieffer Pear Trees?

With our Kieffer, you get exceptionally large fruit, preferred taste and texture plus easy, cold hardy growth that’s second to none. And you get versatility with this crisp, juicy pear…there’s no limit to the possibilities of cooking and snacking with this special variety.

Plus, you get a strong tree with lifelong roots. Plant this Kieffer Pear knowing it will be a treasure that’s enjoyed by many generations to come. In fact, this variety dates back to the 1800s and has been reported to withstand harsh conditions: It is cold hardy, will tolerate hot climates and drought and adapts to a number of soil types.

Why is Better

Rarely will you see a grocer or farmer’s market with pears of this size and quality. We carefully groom and nurture our Kieffer Pear Trees to produce large, delicious pears that are unparalleled. If you love pears, you’ll appreciate the care that went into this particular tree. You’ll enjoy a bounty of delicious fruit year after year without the high expense that you’d typically pay to merchants, and you’ll have a healthy root system and well-developed branching from our meticulous care.

Kieffer Pears are known to be customer favorites, so be sure to order yours soon while we still have plenty available. Order your own Kieffer Pear Tree today!

Planting & Care

1. Planting: Plant your Pear Tree in a location that features full sun (6 to 8 hours per day) and well-draining soil. Choose a bright, semi-sheltered location, preferably with Southern exposure. Once you’re ready to plant, dig a hole three times the size and just as deep as the root ball. Plant the tree so that the roots are spread in the hole and the entire root ball is covered with soil. Fill in the hole completely and gently remove air pockets that may have formed by tamping down, and finally, water to settle the roots.

2. Watering: Water your Pear as necessary, generally once per week until the soil is moist but not oversaturated. When the weather gets hot and dry during the peak of summer, increase the amount of water to maintain proper hydration and moisture. Do not water the Pear Tree after the first frost in the fall. You should resume watering once the last frost has past.

But if you’re not sure when to water, simply check the soil about 2 or 3 inches down. If the soil is dry in this area, it’s time to water.

3. Pruning: When pruning, it’s important to trim the tree’s central leader to promote an upright position. If there are any competing branches present, remove them so that multiple leaders do not form. Maintain the tree’s natural shape by pruning large, lateral branches. Dead, dying or wilted branches should always be removed to help the Pear Tree focus its energy on growing healthy.

Tip: It’s always good to sterilize your cutting tool(s) with rubbing alcohol to ensure a clean cut.

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Pears will grow almost everywhere apples grow and are nearly as cold tolerant. A standard pear tree requires about the same space as an apple tree and can be pruned to about 20 feet tall. Semi-dwarf pear trees grow to about 12 feet tall.

There are two types of pears: European pears–with their classic pear shape–are harvested before they are ripe and held in storage until they ripen and are ready for eating; Asian pears–which are rounded and crisp much like an apple–are harvested ripe from the tree.

Before you buy and plant a pear tree consider the following:

■ Space to grow and form of the tree. How much space do you have? This will determine the form of the tree you choose–freestanding or wire-trained.

■ Size of tree and type of rootstock. What size tree will fit the space? The ultimate size of a pear tree is determined by its rootstock.

■ Flowering time and harvest. When will the tree flower? This will determine pollination–pears require a second cultivar or variety to cross-pollinate. Flowering time–early, mid, or late season–will determine, in turn, harvest time.

■ Use of fruit: fresh eating or cooking. What kind of pear do you want? Like apples, there are pears for fresh eating–dessert pears–and pears for cooking–culinary pears. Consider the cultivars and variety of pear you’d like to grow and how it will be eaten.

Space Needed to Grow Pears

The space you have to grow a pear tree will determine the form of the tree. Pears can be trained in many of the ways as apples. European pears are commonly trained to a central leader (shaped like a Christmas tree) or modified central leader form. Asian pears are usually trained to an open center (shaped like a vase). Here are pear tree forms and the space they require:

• Standard-size pear tree can grow to 40 feet tall if not pruned and have a spread of 30 to 40 feet. Standard pears are commonly pruned from 15 to 25 feet tall with an equal spread. Plant standard pear trees 18 to 25 feet apart. Standard pears fruit in 4 to 8 years and can live for 75 years. Standard-size pear trees are not commonly planted in home gardens. Mostly they are planted in commercial orchards.

• Semi-Dwarf pear tree will grow to 25 feet tall if not pruned and will grow as wide. Semi-dwarf pears are commonly pruned from 12 to 15 feet tall with an equal spread. Semi-dwarf pears bear fruit in 3 to 5 years and can live to 60 years old. These trees can be pruned to a central leader (a single main shoot rising from the trunk) or several leaders–sometimes pruned to a cup shape. Semi-dwarf trees are usually grafted trees; a shoot (called scion) taken from a pear variety (which transmits the fruiting qualities of the variety) is grafted on to a particular rootstock (to provide vigor to the grafted scion) which determines the size of the tree.

• Cordon pear trees are pruned to about 30 inches tall. A cordon is commonly a dwarf pear tree whose growth is trained to a single main stem or leader (called cordon) or multiple leaders (called double “U” cordon with two vertical leaders, or multiple cordons with three or four vertical leaders); the leaders are trained upright or oblique. Cordons are suited for small spaces as the tree is trained to a horizontal plane rather than allowed to form a bush or tree.

Cordons produce fruit on short side shoots. Cordons must be pruned regularly during the growing season to keep their shape and size. The leaders on these trees are commonly trained at an angle of 45 degrees by being tied to two wires stretched at heights of about 2½ and 5 feet between posts rising 7 feet out of the ground and placed at 10-foot intervals. Cordon pear trees should be planted at a distance 1½ to 3 feet apart in rows 6 to 10 feet apart. Cordon trees are usually planted at about one year old.

• Espalier pear trees. Standard and dwarf pear tree varieties can be grown as espaliers–usually kept to 8 or 9 feet tall by pruning. An espalier pear is trained with a central vertical trunk or leader and two or three tiers of horizontal branches or arms trained to radiate to the left and right of the central leader. Espaliers are commonly trained to horizontal wires stretched 24 inches apart. Espaliers, like cordons, are good for small spaces. Plant pear trees for espalier 12 to 15 feet apart. Espalier pear trees are usually planted when three to four years old.

• Fans or palmettes are pear trees trained to a small height on wires. These trees can be shaped as a pyramid or triangle, a fan–usually with two main leaders or ribs radiating from a short trunk with sub laterals forming a fan shape, or palmettes, a cross between an espalier and a fan with a central leader and arms radiating at angles rather than horizontally–shaped similar to an open palm. Similar to cordons or espaliers but smaller, these trees require less maintenance. Pyramids, fans, and palmettes commonly grow to about 5 feet tall on horizontal wires 18 inches and 3 feet above the ground. These forms can be planted 3 ½ to 5 feet apart in rows 7 to 10 feet apart. The plants are usually planted when 3 to 4 years old.

• Stepovers are knee-high, single, horizontal cordons bent at right angles close to the ground. These low horizontal trees can be used in small gardens as decorative borders. Stepovers are trained just as cordons only lower.

■ Size of a pear tree

The size of a pear tree is determined by its rootstock. Pear trees are commonly grafted onto quince or specially developed rootstock. A grafted tree combines a rootstock and a shoot (called scion) taken from a fruiting pear variety. The scion transmits the fruiting qualities of the variety and the rootstock provides vigor and determines the size of the tree. Unlike apple trees, no fully dwarfing rootstocks are available for pears. Pear trees are either standard size (about 20 to 40 feet tall) or semi-dwarf (about 12 to 20 feet tall).

Pear Tree Rootstocks

• Betulaefolia: Rootstock well suited for Asian pears. It can produce large trees in poor soil and is tolerant of both wet and dry conditions.

• Calleryana: Produces a large tree; it is tolerant of wet conditions.

• French Seedling: Rootstock commonly used for Bartlett and Winter Nellis pears. A good general use rootstock.

• Old Home x Farmingdale: Somewhat dwarfing rootstock.

• OHxF Series: Several semi-dwarfing rootstock strains were developed at Oregon State University from Old Home and Farmingdale parents. These strains are disease resistant. The series includes OHxF40, OHxF513, OHxF87, and OHxF97.

• OHxF333: A semi-dwarfing rootstock; trees will grow from 12 to 20 feet tall or about half to two-thirds normal size. Trees growing on this rootstock may be slightly smaller than other fruits but the yield will be high. Trees growing on this rootstock are resistant to fire blight and other diseases. Stake trees for the first 2 years.

• Quince: There are several strains of this semi-dwarfing quince rootstock used for pears. On this rootstock tree grows to about half of standard size and are very productive. Quince rootstocks begin fruiting earlier than other rootstocks. Not all quince rootstock strains are compatible with all pear scion or fruiting parts.

• Quince A: Trees growing on this rootstock will grow 15 to 20 feet tall and can grow in poor soil. Stake these trees for the first 2 years.

Types of Pears

•European: European pears are commonly sold and eaten during wintertime. They come to harvest in late summer and fall and ripen off of the tree after the harvest. European pear varieties require at least 600 hours of winter chill (temperatures of 45F/7C or lower) to be productive; the optimal chill time for European pears is 900 hours. Pears are hardy to -20°F/ -29°C. European pears include Anjou, Bartlett, Bosc, Colette, Comice, Flemish Beauty, Magness, Max-Red Bartlett, Moonglow, Seckel, Sure Crop, Winter Bartlett, and Winter Nellis.

•Asian: These are round, crisp, and sweet pears that ripen on the tree. They are also called apple pears or salad pears. Asian pear varieties require as few as 400 hours of winter chill. They are a very good choice for warm winter regions, USDA Zones 9 and 10; they do not grow as well in very cold winter regions. Asian pears include Chojuro, Hosui, Korean Giant, Nijisseiki, Seigyoku, Shinseiki, Tsu Li, Ya Li.

Hybrid: Hybrid pears are a cross between European and Asian pears. They have a lower chilling requirement than European varieties. Hybrids are more similar in appearance to European varieties than Asian varieties. Hybrid pears include Fan Still, Kieffer, Maxine (Starking Delicious), Monterrey, Orient, Pineapple.

Uses of Pear Fruit

How you will use the fruit you harvest is an important question when choosing a pear tree. There are pears for eating fresh out of hand or slicing for salads (dessert pears) and pears for cooking and baking (culinary pears). Asian pears are best eaten within a few days of picking. European pears are commonly stored for a month or two or more before eating. European pears ripen while in storage.

Here are pears that are excellent in their categories:

•Eating Fresh and Salad Pears: Bosc, Colette, Comice, Magness, Max-Red Bartlett, Seckel, Seigyoku, Shinseiki, Ya Li.

•Cooking Pears: Kieffer, Seckel, and Winter Nellis.

•Canning Pears: Colette, Maxine (Starking Delicious).

Pear Flowering and Harvest Times

Nearly all pears require cross-pollination from a second cultivar or variety that flowers at the same time. The exceptions are Bartlett, Red Bartlett–in dry western regions–and Kieffer and Turnbull. Choose varieties that overlap their flowering time. That means early and late varieties are not likely cross-pollinated. Plant at least two and even three pear trees to ensure pollination.

• Early to Midseason Varieties: Bartlett, Flemish Beauty, Moonglow

• Midseason to Late Season Varieties: Anjou (Beurre d’Anjou), Colette, Seckel, Warren.

• Asian Pear (Apple Pears) Varieties: Asian pears bloom earlier than European pears. They are usually finished flowering before European pears start, however, late-blooming Asian pears will pollinate European pears. Asian pears include Chojuro, Hosui, Kikusui, Korean Giant, Nijisseiki (Twentieth Century), Seigyoku, Shinko, Shinseiki, Sure Crop, Tsu Li, Ya Li (pear-shaped).

■ Northern Hemisphere harvest times

• July harvest: Clapp’s Favorite, Bartlett, Max Red, Shinseiki.

• September harvest: Anjou, Seckel, Monterrey, Sure Crop, Maxine, Kieffer, Bosc, Winter Nellis, Comice.

• October harvest: Kieffer, Bosc, Winter Nellis, Comice.

Planting and Pruning Pears

Pears grow best in heavy loam soil. Pears will tolerate poor soils and even clay soils but are less productive in very heavy soils. Set trees at the same depth that they grew in nursery or nursery containers with the graft above ground level. Prune back the top growth so that it equals the amount of root growth.

If pears are left unpruned they will take longer to bear fruit. Pears send up tall, vertical shoots. They are best pruned to form a tree with 4 to 5 scaffolds around a central or main stem. Scaffold or horizontal branches will produce more fruit and should be encouraged. Remove the tips of scaffold branches to encourage the growth of lateral fruiting branches. Pears produce fruit on short, stubby lateral branches called spurs.

Also of interest:

How to Grow Pears

Pear Tree Varieties for Home Gardens

Pear Tree Pruning

Pear blossoms have a short season and the small amount of nectar produced is not attractive to bees. Twice as many bees should be available to pears than for other fruits. Move bees into the pear orchard when the trees are in one-third bloom.

Although Anjou and Bartlett are partially self-fruitful, they should be cross-pollinated to produce heavy and regular crops. Bartlett, Comice and Hardy may set large crops of parthenocarpic fruit. European and Asian pears will cross-pollinate if blooming at the same time.

European Pears

Pear Fruiting Variety

Compatible Pollinizer

Anjou Bartlett, Bosc, Comice, Anjou*, Seckel
Bartlett Anjou, Bosc, Comice
Bosc Anjou, Bartlett, Comice, Seckel
Comice Anjou, Bartlett, Bosc, Seckel
Seckel Bosc, Comice, Bartlett
Asian Pears

Asian Pear Fruiting Variety

Chojuro Shinseike, Bartlett
Nijisseiki (20th Century) Chojuro, Shinseike, Bartlett
Hosui Partially self-fruitful; any other pear in same bloom time OK.
Shinseike Chojuro


  • Orange Pippin Fruit Trees – website has a fruit tree pollination compatibility checker tool and several other useful online tools (Accessed: 1/19/17).
  • Raintree Nursery – website has nice European pear compatibility chart (Accessed: 1/19/17).

Pear Tree Pollination Guide – Learn About Pear Trees And Pollination

There just isn’t anything like a juicy ripe pear. The sweet nectar running down your chin as you enjoy the tasty flavor and lush flesh simply can’t be beat. With most fruit trees, you need another of their kind to pollinate in order to get this sweet fruit, and pear trees are no exception. While there are self-pollinating pear trees, you will get better yields with a partner plant. So which pear trees pollinate each other?

Pear Trees and Pollination

Growing your own pears is a rewarding endeavor that provides you with a ready supply of these tantalizing fruits but successful pollination is the necessary catalyst that produces the succulent pomes. There are several pear tree pollination guides available but there are also some simple rules that will help you choose the best trees with the greatest chance of producing.

Self-pollinating trees are those that do not strictly need another of the family to set fruit. They are also called self-fruitful. Many pear varieties are considered self-fruitful, but the addition of another of their kind greatly increases the chances of pollination. This is because the pear flowers are short-lived and have minimal nectar. Their nectar is not particularly attractive to bees, which are necessary to carry the pollen from flower to flower.

Cross-pollination of

pear trees results in better fruit yield and regular crops. In commercial production, bees are introduced to pear orchards in large numbers to increase the likelihood of successful pollination. Pear trees and pollination rely upon bees in even higher numbers than other fruits because they do not wind pollinate and the flower pollen count is low.

Which Pear Trees Pollinate Each Other?

Nearly all pear trees are suitable for pollinating species that bloom at the same time. Some pear trees can even produce parthenocarpic fruits, which have no seeds and grow without fertilization. Overall, your best crops will come from plants that have a partner or two.

The key to successful cross-pollination of pear trees is choosing varieties that bloom at the same time. Anjou, Kieffer, and Bartlett are self-pollinating but they will produce more fruit if paired with another of the same kind. You can intermix these varieties and still get successful fruit set, as they all bloom around the same time.

One variety, Seckel, is not a good pollinator for Bartlett. Trees that flower later or earlier than the above choices will require a pollination partner from the same flowering group. Choosing two different cultivars as partners greatly increases the chances of pollination and, therefore, fruit set.

You can also simply rely upon your neighbor’s pear tree as a pollinator. As long as a partner pear tree is not further than 100 feet (30.5 m.) from your tree, you can still get plenty of fruit.

Pear Tree Pollination Guide

Since different cultivars increase pollination on trees, it is important to know some guidelines on choosing partner plants. Pick plants in the same pollination group for the best chance at big crops. For example, Louis Bonne will not pollinate William’s Bon Chretien because the former is in Group 2 and the latter in Group 3.

Most other pears available are in Group 3 except for Pitmaston Duchesse, Catillac, Onward, and Doyenne du Comice. Triploid cultivars will need two other pollinators. These are Catillac and Merton Pride. Choose two other trees in the same pollination group.

This is a simple guide and may seem confusing, but if all else fails, choose several plants that flower at the same time and your pear future should be secure. Pear trees and pollination doesn’t have to be difficult because so many varieties are self-fruitful. In the long run, having more than one tree enhances production and increases pollination chances.

Gardening Answers Knowledgebase

Search Results for: Fruit trees–Cross-pollination | Search the catalog for: Fruit trees–Cross-pollination

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Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Pyrus, Fruit trees–Cross-pollination

I am looking for a European variety of pear tree that cross-pollinates with an Asian pear tree. I thought I’d heard that Bartlett pear trees can pollinate an early blooming Asian pear. Is this right?


The University of California, Davis Fruit & Nut Research Center indicates that European pears may be used for cross-pollination with Asian pear.
“Pollination: Asian pear varieties are partially self-fruitful but better crops are set where two or more varieties are planted together. In Fresno and Tulare counties, 20th Century or Shinseiki are known to set good crops when planted alone in large one-variety blocks. In areas with cooler temperatures at bloom-time, cross-pollination by European or Asian pear varieties will be necessary. Cross-pollinated fruit with seed tend to be larger and more uniformly round than fruit with few seeds due to inadequate pollination.”

Washington State University’s shows which European pears will be compatible pollenizers for specific varieties of Asian pear. (click on the plus sign to expand the information on pollination for pears)
It indicates that Bartlett will work for Chojuro and Nijisseiki.

Washington State University’s Fruit Handbook for Western Washington says “pears and Asian pears are genetically compatible, so they can cross-pollinate just the same as any varieties whose bloom periods overlap. It is, however, important to note some limitations. Asian pears (…) tend to bloom earlier as a group; furthermore, not all European pears are suitable pollenizers. Conference is a good early blooming pear that can pollinate Asian pears in most years (…) Pear flowers are not particularly attractive to bees, so for good pollination when growing pears and Asian pears, try to minimize the availability of other flowers (eg., dandelions) when pears are in bloom.”

Date 2019-12-18

Keywords: Fruit trees–Cross-pollination, Cornus mas

Can you tell me how to grow Cornelian cherry? Do I need more than one tree to get fruit? Also, what kind of soil and fertilizer does it need?

Cornelian cherry, or Cornus mas, is not especially fussy about type of soil, but prefers well-drained moist soil that is somewhat rich. According to Lee Reich’s Landscaping with Fruit (Storey, 2009), the tree is at least partly self-fruitful, but planting a second tree (a different cultivar or clone) will increase fruit yield. I don’t think there are particular fertilizer needs for this tree, but you can provide a mulch of compost in spring or fall if you wish. Reich says to “plant this tree carefully, keep weeds at bay at least for the first few seasons, water as needed during the first season and you’ll have little else to do for your tree beyond enjoying looking at it and harvesting the fruits.”

The local website of Great Plant Picks has information about this tree.

Washington State University at Mount Vernon’s fruit research center offers a list of cultivars tested in 2007:
Cornus mas

  • “Elegant”
  • “Olga”
  • “Pioneer”
  • “Red Star”
  • “Sevetok”
  • “Yevgenii”

Date 2019-11-14

Keywords: Pyrus, Fungal diseases of plants, Fruit trees–Cross-pollination, Failure to fruit

I have a ‘Rescue’ pear which has gotten pear rust. It is about 3 years old. I also have an ‘Orca’ pear tree that so far this season does not have rust. Last year we had terrible rust. We thought maybe it came from a secondary host, because there were Juniper bushes. Now those bushes are all gone and I did clean up the leaves from last year to try and avoid contamination from the rust.

Also, I have never gotten any pears on either tree. The Orca tree is a bit older, about 5 years old. They both were bought from Raintree Nursery.

Sorry to hear about your pear with rust, and about the lack of fruit. Washington State University’s HortSense website says there are two types of rust that affect pears in our area:
“Two pear rusts which occur in Washington are Pacific Coast pear rust and pear trellis rust. Both require an alternate host. The rust fungus causing Pacific Coast pear rust is also found on hawthorn, apple, crabapple, serviceberry, quince, and mountain ash. The alternate host is the incense cedar (Calocedrus decurrens), which develops witches’ brooms. Infected fruits of pear are deformed and drop prematurely. On the surface of the fruit, yellowish spots with cup-shaped pustules develop. Leaves and green shoots may also be infected. Symptoms are most obvious after flowering and before July. Pear trellis rust may also infect pears, causing reddish to orange blotches on leaves. The alternate host is juniper, which develops elongate, swollen galls along branches.”

The only controls they recommend are cultural:

  • Avoid susceptible varieties such as ‘Winter Nelis’.
  • Collect and destroy fallen fruit beneath trees.
  • Plant resistant varieties such as ‘Bartlett’.
  • Prune out and destroy rust-infected tissues in pears and alternate hosts.
  • Remove alternate hosts in the vicinity of pear trees, when practical.

Here is an article from British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture and Food on managing this disease in the home orchard.

It sounds as if you are doing everything you can to prevent a recurrence. The web resource above also states that fungicide is probably not a worthwhile approach to managing rust on pears or junipers.

As for the lack of fruit on your trees, Raintree’s pollination chart shows that ‘Rescue’ and ‘Orcas’ should cross-pollinate. It is possible that the ‘Rescue’ pear is not mature enough, or that its bout with disease slowed it down. Here is an article about failure to produce fruit, from University of Maine. It mentions possibilities such as immature tree(s), lack of sun, and frost damage to flower buds.

I have an ‘Orcas’ growing without other pears in the garden, and yet it produces fruit, so I wonder if something else may be happening. Do you have a good number of bees and other pollinators in your garden? Do you or nearby households use pesticides that might interfere with pollinators? Here is information on protecting and encouraging pollinators, from U.S. Fish and Wildlife.

I also recommend contacting Raintree to see if they have any advice.

Date 2019-12-27

Keywords: Prunus tomentosa, Failure to fruit, Fruit trees–Cross-pollination

I have had a Nanking cherry bush that I planted 3 years ago. The first year, as I expected, it didn’t produce flowers or fruit. The second year, it produced some flowers and about 4 small green cherries, which disappeared off from the bush in about a week. This year, it had a lot of flowers, but only produced 2 small green cherries, which also disappeared in about a week. I only have the one bush, and it seems very healthy otherwise. Is it due to being so young still? Do I need a second plant? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, Nanking cherry (Prunus tomentosa) “is not self-fertile. Two or more shrubs should be planted within 100′ of each other to ensure cross-pollination.”

Information from Alberta, Canada’s Agriculture and Rural Development website (no longer available online) has some suggestions on cross-pollination:
“Nanking cherries need cross pollination, for fruit production, therefore more than one plant is required, or an early flowering plum such as Brookgold, Bounty or Dandy. Mature plants reach heights of up to 2 m. Plant in rows 3 m apart with 2 m between the plants in the row. Prune annually to prevent shrubs from becoming too dense. Remove no more than one-third of the total number of branches at one time. This allows the plant to replace older wood with young, vigorous wood.”

There is a chapter on Nanking cherry in Lee Reich’s Uncommon Fruits Worthy of Attention (Timber Press, 2004) in which he states clearly that cross-pollination is needed (some information on the web says that it is self-fruitful…which might be true to a small extent, but you will have a much better crop with cross-pollination). Some key points: Nanking cherry does well in sun and well-drained soil. Full sun is preferable, but it will still bear fruit in a shadier spot. It grows vigorously, and can live 50+ years. “Annual pruning, though not a necessity, brings out the best in any Nanking cherry in terms of yield and fruit quality. Prune in late winter with the aim of keeping a bush open so that all branches are bathed in sun and quickly dried by breezes. Accomplish these goals by shortening some branches, removing others entirely, and leaving still others untouched. This pruning will also stimulate a steady supply of young, fruitful branches each year.”

Date 2019-08-02

Bartlett PearPyrus communis ‘Bartlett’

This tree:

  • Produces large, yellow fruit with a smooth and juicy white flesh–ideal for eating, canning and preserves.
  • Yields ripe fruit typically in late August or early September that will keep for up to 3 months if stored properly.
  • Begins to bear fruit while young and has been known to continue bearing for over 100 years.
  • Blooms just before the leaves appear in the spring, with showy white flowers.
  • Is available in standard and dwarf sizes. Our standard Bartlett seedlings are budded onto whole rootstock, and our dwarf seedlings are grafted to Quince or Quince A (Malling A).
  • Needs regular watering.
  • Requires cross-pollination with Orient or another European pear variety (excluding Kieffer) growing within 100′ for standard trees and within 20′ for dwarf trees.
  • Has a chill hours (CU) requirement of 800. (Chill hours are the average hours of air temperature between 32° and 45° F in a typical winter season.)
  • Features simple leaves that are glossy green, measure up to 3″ long, have fine teeth on the margin and alternate on the twig.
  • Grows in an oval shape.



Only a few apple varieties are self-fertile and some are almost sterile, so it is recommended that customers have at least two different varieties to insure good pollination. If an order lacks a good pollinator, we will usually recommend one. If you have any questions regarding pollination when ordering, please feel free to ask.

Good apple pollinators include:

Virginia Gold, Grimes Golden, Summer Banana, Newtown Pippin, American Golden Russet, Virginia Beauty, Gala, Goldrush, and Hewes Crab are some of the best.——-more than one with purchases of more than 3 trees is a real necessity. Almost any crab apple is a good pollinator.

Other good ones; Horse, Yellow June, and most Limbertwigs.

Poor apple pollinators(they are easily pollinated by other apple trees and make excellent apples, but they cannot pollinate others so that they can have fruit):

Some that are completely sterile (or close to it) include: Stayman, Arkansas Black, Old Fashioned Winesap, and Original Winesap.

Any other apple tree could be described as a possible pollinator, erring on the side that it can pollinate. Simply stated, there is a lack of concrete evidence on the majority of old Southern apples so it is necessary to get two or three different varieties to help all of the trees produce fruit.



European-type pears are the typical “pear shape”(small at the top and more rounded at the bottom). Asian pears are typically round in shape (similar to apples) and have russet coats. Most Asian pears require another pear (Asian or European) for good pollination. European pears can be self-fertile, but unless noted below, it is recommended that customers have at least two different pear trees to pollinate one another.

Pear—-Kieffer and Bartlett can pollinate themselves and any other pear. The asians require a Kieffer , Seckel, or another asian to pollinate. Usually having two different types of pears insures good pollination.

Hardy Fruit Trees Nursery

The fruit

Nova pear is a sizeable pear with a thin yellow skin and shape that is that of a typical pear but a little rounder with more meat on it. The flesh is juicy and has a silky texture that seems to melt in the mouth. It is among the very best dessert pears but is equally suitable for canning and holds its shape very well. The pear hangs on the tree well through ripening and is ready for harvest around mid-September. It can be used both when it is green and when given further time to ripen and in both cases is an exquisite treat.

The Pear tree

Nova pear tree is good grower that fruits reliably and with excellent yields. The tree tends towards a smaller and more spreading form than most pear trees and shows resistance to fireblight and scab. It is hardy to zone 4 and is self-fertile though another variety nearby will likely maximize pollination

Its Origin

Nova was discovered on Hudar farm in Hammond, NY. It is a seedling tree of one of the numerous adult pear trees growing wild there. Sister seedling of Hudar.

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