I e mailed and got an answer back from Jean McGovern w/ USA Pears. She suggested I contact you with my comment and question. It is as follows: I have a pear tree in my yard. It is a grafted tree, what I believe is a Bartlett with and Asian grafted onto it. I do not know the specific varietal of the Asian pear. The Asian is in full bloom right now. The blooms on the Bartlett are still closed tightly. Given that picture combined with the fact that I see virtually no insects working the blooms, will they self pollenate? I have considered using a cotton swab to swish around the pollen. Another thought shared with me is to take one of the blossoms and use that to swish around in the other blossoms to attempt to effect pollinization. My real question is: will these two pear varieties self pollinize? Or do they need a pollinator, perhaps a plumb for example to effectively pollinize the blossom? Given that this is a rather timely question (once a year opportunity), if your have some thoughts on this, I would appreciate it.
Multnomah County Oregon
Thank you for your question. It really is necessary to know the pear variety to be entirely accurate in answering, but I think the following article may provide some answers: http://treefruit.wsu.edu/web-article/pear-pollination/
So, if you're certain one is Bartlett, and the other Asian pear varieties Chojuro or Nijisseiki, and they are blooming simultaneously (which makes them compatible varieties and able to cross-pollinate), you shouldn't need to hand-pollinate. And, as the article explains, pears aren't attractive to bees, so don't expect them to "help."
I hope this is informative.