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.


Cross Pollination Pear Trees: Which Pear Trees Pollinate Each Other - garden

Fruit Tree Pollinator Charts & General Information

Fruit Trees can be broken down into 2 categories:

1.) Self Fruitful or Self-Pollinating

-Cross Pollination is not essential but does improve the number of fruit

- ex. Apricots, European Plums (such as 'Damon', 'Green Gage', 'Italian' & 'Stanley'), Prunes, Tart Cherries (such as 'Montmorency'), Peaches & Nectorines.

2.) Self-unfruitful or Needs Cross Pollination

- Cross pollination from one or more compatible cultivars is essential for Apples, Pears, most Sweet Cherries (except 'Stella' & 'Compact Stella'), and most Japanese Plums.

- Pollen is primarily transfered by honeybees so plant trees 100 feet or less apart.

- Below are Cross Pollination Charts for Apples, Pears, Sweet Cherries and Japanese Plums.


What is Pollination?

Any plant you grow in your garden which produces a fruit requires pollination.

Along those same lines, each plant which requires pollination has either a female or a male part. Some plants have both or produce both, but we’ll discuss this topic a little later. The male sex organ of a plant is called a stamen, and the female sex organ of a plant is called a stigma.

When pollination occurs, pollen from the male sex organ transfers to the female sex organ. It can happen via insects, wind, or a plant can be self-pollinating.


A few European pear varieties are self-fruitful and don't need a pollinator, including "Keiffer" and "Comice, which both grow in USDA zones 4 through 9. Asian pears have a round shape and a crisp texture similar to apples. They grow well in the West and may not need a pollinator, depending on the variety. "Chojuro" and "Twentieth Century" are self-fertile Asian pear varieties grow in USDA zones 5 through 9.

Pear trees need to be planted within 100 feet of each other to ensure good pollination, but in most cases, they can be planted even more closely together for better results. Dwarf trees need at least 18 to 20 feet between each tree, while standard varieties need 25 to 35 feet. Pears grow best in deep, fertile, not sandy soils. They need consistent moisture, especially when flowering and fruiting, to produce a good crop. In fertile soils, they rarely need fertilizing and too much nitrogen fertilizer encourages leafy growth instead of fruit.


Is there a male and female pear tree?

Rest of the in-depth answer is here. Also, how can you tell if a pear tree is male or female?

If a tree is male and contains flowers, then it has male flowers and produces pollen. Meanwhile, if a tree is female and contains flowers, then it has female flowers and produces fruit.

Secondly, are fruit trees male and female? Both male and female plants are required to produce fruit. You need at least one of each plant but a male can cross-pollinate up to 8 females. Plants must be 2-3 years old before they can produce fruit.

Keeping this in view, do you need more than one pear tree to produce fruit?

All fruit trees require proper pollination in order to produce fruit. Most pear trees are completely or partially self-pollinated, so it is necessary to plant more than one variety if you wish to have fruit.

1 Answer. Some trees have a single "gender" but many do not. The way to tell is to see if the male (pollen) parts are present on separate flowers on different trees from the "female" (ovary - ie, infant fruit) parts.


Asian Pears

Some Asian pear trees are partially self-fruitful and tend to overproduce when cross-pollinated. Their pears earned the nickname "apple pears" because of their physical resemblance to apples. The two self-fruitful Asian pear cultivars that grow well in California are the “Shinseiki” and “20th Century.” “Shinseiki” trees grow best in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plant hardiness zones 6 through 8 and produce pears that are round with yellow skin. The “20th Century” cultivar, which is hardy in USDA zones 5 through 9, produces pears that are round, have yellow skin and are more flavorful than “Shinseiki” pears. Thin Asian pear trees' fruit to one pear per cluster to yield larger fruit and reduce stress on tree limbs.


Honeybees as Helpers

Pollen moves from flower to flower with the help of an agent such as wind, water, insects, birds and mammals. The most common agents for pollination are insects, particularly bees. The highly concentrated, sugary nectar of sweet cherry blossoms attracts honeybees, as does the protein-rich pollen.

For each trip a bee makes to an area with cherry trees, it can visit more than 400 flowers. Once bees find a good food source, they will return repeatedly, making them an important cherry pollinator.

Many commercial fruit producers partner with local beekeepers to stock their orchards with hives of honeybees. While honeybees are an important pollinator of cherry trees, wild bees also help move pollen between cherry blossoms as well. Recent experiments have tested whether planting wildflowers near orchards can attract more insects to the area and increase pollination in commercial operations.


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