I have a neighbors both in Howard and Carroll Counties with pear trees that...

Asked September 29, 2014, 3:13 PM EDT

I have a neighbors both in Howard and Carroll Counties with pear trees that have been loaded with small green pears that do not ripen well. One of them got so tired of having the tree loaded with inedible pears year after year that he finally cut it down this year. My other neighbor has asked for help in discerning the trees problem. What could be a solution for this problem?

Howard County Maryland

2 Responses

You and your neighbors are not alone. It can be very challenging in Maryland to grow what most consider to be acceptable tree fruits. There are many reasons for this, related to abiotic (non-living) factors like soil and climate, and also due to pest and disease problems.
Do you know the name of the cultivar you are growing? It could be that your type of pear needs cross-pollination with another specific pear to form and ripen well.
Seckel pears are small and they are considered self-pollinating, but will definitely grow better with another variety nearby.
That said, tree fruits in our area benefit from a pretty strict spray schedule to control for diseases (scab, fire blight, rusts, blotch/flyspeck) and pests. Most homeowners are not interested in this close management, but rather enjoy the blossoms and form of the tree, hope to get whatever good fruits may appear naturally, and see the rest as food for wildlife. (We might mention that in our experience, (in Western Howard for one of us, sometimes what we'd consider 'wild' pears may be sold in spring out in front of grocery stores and other places which often are genetically not the greatest examples of what edible pears can be, which also could be a factor.)

I have received a post-answer evaluation, but I am not yet ready to do so as I have not been able to get back with my neighbors with the pear tree. I will use some of the ideas that I gave you and see if I can make some progress. Thanks!