Bradford Pears: No Berries This Winter (2017)

Asked January 10, 2018, 2:54 PM EST

Thank You In Advance: Our two Bradford Pear trees have produced no berries this Winter (there are many such in the neighborhood, all with no berries). Normally, during the late Fall and Winter, the trees are loaded with berries: These berries are favored by Robins, and I have seen on one or two occasions Cedar Waxwings partake of the berries. This is a concern for me, as I know that the bee population has plummeted as has the insect population generally (at least in Germany this has occurred, research having show a 60% decline in the number of insects). Do you know why this berry deficit is occurring, Many Thanks, John Doyle

Charles County Maryland

5 Responses

Last spring we had an ice storm and cold temperatures in mid-March - well after most of the pear trees around the area had started to bloom. This caused lots of blossoms to drop andThis is probably why you haven't seen fruit on the pear trees in your neighborhood. Pears bloom fairly early and are more vulnerable to this than some other types of fruit trees.

Many Thanks Luke

You're welcome! If you are looking to plant other fruiting trees to attract birds, you might consider Washington hawthorn (Crataegus phaenopyrum) and serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.). Like Bradford pear, they are in the rose family and have lots of white blossoms in the spring, but they are not as prone to frost damage since they flower a bit later in the spring. They are also native to much of the eastern US.

Many Thanks Again Luke,
One of my pear trees is dying, so I am looking for a replacement,
John.

I'm glad to hear that was helpful!
Take care,
-Luke