Pears have been consumed since prehistoric times and are thought to have originated in China. Check the ripeness of the fruit by testing if the 'neck' yields to gentle pressure. A pear in a bottle can be made by inserting twig with one developing fruit into a clean bottle, which is suspended from a higher branch and sealed with gauze. The wood is tasteless and resistant to warping or splintering, making robust wooden utensils and also musical instruments.
Culture for Pear
Requires full sun and deep, well drained soil. Pruning and training, especially when young, are important to ensure fruit production. The trees are usually not self fertile and require pollination by another pear of an appropriate 'pollination group' to fruit; bees spread pollen far and wide but bigger crops may come from plantings of multiple trees.
Concerns about Pear
Fireblight is a bacterial disease which causes wilting of terminal leaves and blossoms with a characteristic blackening which appears if they have been scorched by fire. If left, the disease continues down the branch, forming cankers. Pear rust is caused by a fungus that needs both a pear and a juniper host to complete its lifecycle. Red yellow spots, with a dark centre, appear on the upper leaf surface, while bumpy swellings below release pale spores. Aphids are a significant insect pest. Pear leaf blister mite, generally cosmetic, causes many small yellow red spots on the leaf which darken later in the season.
Management Practices for Pear
Fireblight: Prune out and destroy infected material, sterilizing tools between cuts, apply foliar fertilizer sprays. Pear rust: Remove and destroy infected leaves, check and control infections on nearby juniper, apply fungicide sprays. Use an appropriate insecticide against aphids. Check for sources of stress that can be mitigated. 3 to 4 sprays at regular intervals throughout the growing season is recommended.