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Pears can be highly ornamental fruit trees for the home garden.

The trees are also more tolerant of heavy, wet soils than most fruit trees, making them a good choice for western Oregon. Their pruning and maintenance schedule is similar to that of apples.

European pears are legendarily luscious when perfectly ripe – growing your own is a way to guarantee you’ll find them that way. The fruit must be picked before ripe and ripened off the tree. In order to tell the right picking time, wait until a full size fruit falls off the tree.

You may also see a black ring marking the joint between the stem of the fruit and the spur. If you find a black ring, gently lift and twist the fruit. A mature pear should easily separate from the spur. Once you know how your pear variety should look when ripe, visual evaluation of its color will also help.

Although the white blossoms are attractive to people, they are relatively unattractive to bees. Pears should therefore be planted near each other, about 15’ apart, for better production.

The strongly upright natural tendency of pears means that early training (spreading or tying down branches) will be important to keep the fruiting part of the tree within reach. They take well to a central leader or modified central leader form.

Learn more about: Pruning & Training Fruit Trees

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