Benefits of pollination partners in self-fertile hybrid pear varieties

Asked December 1, 2015, 9:48 AM EST

I would like to grow Orient and Pineapple pears. I see both listed as self-fertile Asian-hybrid varieties. Though this is true, [how] would they benefit from growing with a pollination partner? If so, would these 2 particular varieties be a good match, and why or why not? Thanks

Virginia tree fruit pear trees fruit tree pollination

1 Response

Thank you for your inquiries.

Nearly all pears require cross-pollination from a second cultivar or variety that flowers at the same time. Even some self-fruitful pear trees may need cross-pollinators to produce fruit when they are planted in areas where their blooming period occurs during cool temperatures. It is also important to choose varieties that overlap their flowering time. That means early and late varieties are not likely cross-pollinate.

Both the Orient and Pineapple pear are interspecific P. communis × P. pyrifolia hybrids. However, the Orient pear, is in fact, self-sterile, not self-fertile, and requires a pollinator. The Pineapple pear is, indeed self-fertile but bears better with a second variety and is considered a pollinator.

Unfortunately, these two pears do not pare well together as cross-pollinators, as the Pineapple pear is an early variety and the Orient pear is a late variety; providing for a gap in pollination times.

I would suggest planting a mid-season variety, such as Bartlett, Conference, Devoe, Douglas, Duchess, Fan Stil, Lincoln, Magness, Max-Red Bartlett, Maxine (Starking Delicious), Monterey, Parker, or Sensation Red Bartlett (Sensation), along with these two to ensure cross-pollination.

Hope this answers your questions.