Dead blossoms

Asked May 15, 2019, 10:41 AM EDT

Hi My pear tree had an abundance of blossoms this year, and they stayed for quite a while. Many of them have shriveled and died without producing fruit. The tree is (I believe) a Bartlett. It was well established when I moved in 25 years ago. I do not use any spray or fertilizer on it. Also - a few years ago the flavor of the pears was extraordinary, unlike any other. I sometimes wonder why that happened, but it’s not my main question. Thank you!!

Lane County Oregon

1 Response

Thanks for your question about dropping pear blossoms. There are two likely explanations. First, if the bloom was very abundant as you say, it is normal for many fruit trees to self-thin - that is, to drop many of the incipient fruits before they develop very far. If they didn't do that, they would be trying to make way too many fruits, and all would be small and of poor quality. Growers often help the process along by thinning fruits to the optimum number per foot, so the fruits produced are of high size and quality.
Another possible explanation is poor pollination. If the weather was cool and rainy when the pear tree was in bloom, there might not have been enough pollinators around to get to all the flowers.
Either way, you'll get better fruit if there aren't an excessive number on the tree.
Here is a good article on these and other possible causes of fruit drop, going into more detail.
AS far as the flavor being great that one year, I have no idea!