Caring for Ornamental Pear

A 2 to 3 inch layer of organic mulch, out to the drip line will always contribute to a healthier tree. Revew the mulch in the fall and then annually in the spring. For more information see the file on Using Mulch

Pear trees grow best if they get approximately 1 inch of water every week from rain or from your watering system. Established ornamental types are valued for their tolerance of drought, but, of course, they still appreciate watering during drought periods. It is very important for young and newly planted trees to be watered during these periods. For information on products see the file on Choosing Watering Equipment

In the pear tree’s second year, and annually for 3 or 4 more years, sprinkle a general purpose slow-acting granular fertilizer on the mulched soil over its root zone for the rain to soak in. Spread it out as far as the dripline, at the branch tips, sparingly. Beware of using too much; excess nitrogen makes pear trees vulnerable to leaf disease problems. When trees are 5 or 6 years old, especially if they have been mulched regularly over that time, there is no need for routine annual fertilizing. For more information see the files on Fertilizing Trees and Choosing Fertilizers

Ornamental pears do not need regular pruning and, in fact, may resent it. Their naturally regular, graceful habit precludes the need for shaping. If it is necessary to cut away the occasional broken or damaged branch or any branches rubbing against each other, do so in the late winter before the tree’s flower buds swell. Make clean cuts with sharp hand pruners or pruning saw. Do not leave protruding stubs, but cut smoothly at the “collar” of transition tissue where the limb meets the trunk. For more information see the files on Pruning Shade and Flowering Trees and Choosing Pruning Tools

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