TYPE AND AGE OF TREES
Bush trees are normally planted when they are two years old, and espaliers when they are three or four years old.
Plant pear trees at any time during the winter—in November if possible. Dig the holes 3 ft. square, making them 8 in. deep in ordinaryand only 6 in. deep in heavy clay. Before planting, drive stakes at least 2 ft. into the soil so that the trees can be tied to them by proprietary plastic-strap ties. Spread the roots out evenly, and as the soil is put back tread it down firmly.
Pear trees, like apple trees, can be trained as bushes with open centres, as bushes with delayed open centres, or as pyramids; trees trained in any of these ways should be planted 12ft. Square. Plant pillar trees 8 ft. square, and spindle trees 4 ft. apart with 6 ft. between each row. Oblique single cordons should be planted 2 ft. apart, and espalier-trained trees against walls or fences 15 ft. apart.
Pears can be treated in much the same way as apples, and can therefore be grown in the same orchard. But pears, unlike apples, do not suffer from potash starvation. They can suffer from nitrogen starvation and should therefore be given 3 oz. meat and bone meal per sq. yd. each February. In addition, mulch 3 or 4 ft. round each tree, especially those grown against walls, with sedge peat to a depth of l in. When the trees are grown in grass, keep the grass short throughout the season and leave it to lie and rot where it falls, then apply meat and bone meal at the rate of 3 oz. per sq. yd. over the grass so that it can be washed in naturally.
As most pears are self-sterile two varieties are needed to pollinate each other, so make sure that suitable varieties flowering at the same time are planted. But if only one tree is to be grown, choose a self-fertile variety, or a family tree, which grows three different varieties on one stem. A good nurseryman will give advice on which varieties to plant.
Pears usually need harder pruning than apples, although the method is the same. Pears produce fruit buds very easily, so that after ten years they usually need thinning out by cutting back the spurs bearing the fruit buds to half their size.
When the young pears are about as big as acorns, thin them out until they are about 4 in. apart. Do not thin out the variety Doyenne du Cornice.
Pears are difficult to store. They should be picked at exactly the right time. Always pick the early and mid-season varieties before they are ripe. When the pear appears to be full sized, lift it up in the palm of the hand, and if the stalk comes away easily from the spur it is ready. The late varieties, which do not ripen on the tree but in store, should not be picked until they part easily. The best time to pick is suggested in the list below.
The best temperature for storing pears is between 35 and 40° F. (2 and 4° C).
D= Dessert C= Cooker Most dessert pears, if they are picked while still firm, can be peeled and will cook quite well.
Bergamotte d’Esperen (D), yellow and delicious. Pick October, store until March. Vigorous grower. Early flowering.
Beurred’Amanlis(I)), medium to large, very juicy. Pick end August, use early September. Grows well in the Midlands and North. Early flowering.
Beurre Hardy (D), russet flushed with rose-pink. Pick mid-September, use October. Hates chalky soil, fate flowering.
Beurre Superfin (D), yellow with some russet, very delicious flavour, never gritty. Pick mid-September. Mid-season flowering.
Catillac (c), large, dark green. When cooked becomes deep red. Pick early October, use October to April. Late flowering.
Charles Ernest (D), large, yellow and scarlet. Pick mid-October, use late October to November. Excellent cropper. Early flowering.
Conference (D), tapered, dark green covered with russet. Pick late September, use October to November. Resistant to scab. Mid-season flowering.
Doyenne d’Ete (D), small, yellow with red-brown blush. Pick third week in July, use late July to August. Good early pear. Early flowering.
Doyenne du Cornice (D), yellow with red flush, some russet. Pick first week in October, use November to December. Subject to scab. Finest pear in cultivation. I.ate flowering.
Dr. Jules Guyot (D), yellow with slight flush. Pick third week in August, use early September. Late flowering.
Durondeau (n), golden-yellow, russet. Pick late September, use October to November. Good for south wall but subject to scab. Mid-season flowering.
Emile d’Heyst (D), light yellow-brown russet. Pick end September, use October to November. Very fertile, compact. Sus-ceptible to scab. Mid-season flowering.
Fertility Improved (D), greenish-brown. Pick early September, use September to October. Crops heavily so needs thinning. Susceptible to scab. Mid-season flowering.
Clou Morceau (D), green, ripens yellow. Pick mid-October, use December to February, late flowering.
Gorham (D), pale yellow, russet coloured. Pick mid-September. Heavy cropper. Resistant to scab. Late flowering.
Josephine de Malines (D), small, light greenish-yellow. Delicious flavour. Pick beginning October’, use December to January. Mid-season flowering.
Louise Bonne of Jersey (D), greenish-yellow with red flush. Pick towards end of September, use October. Spreading grower. Early flowering.
Nouveau Poiteau (D), tapering greenish-yellow. Pick third week in October, use November. Good pollinator for Doyenne du Cornice. Late flowering.
Packhanrs Triumph (D), yellow, juicy. Pick mid-October, use November. Small tree. Crops early. Mid-season llowering.
Pitmaston Duchess (D or c), huge, pale yellow with slight russet at stem end. Pick end September, use October to November. Late flowering.
Santa Claus (D), brownish-yellow. Pick late October, use December. Vigorous upright grower. Late flowering.
Thompson’s (D), fairly large, pale gold with russet marbling. Pick end of September, use October to November. Spreading grower. Mid-season flowering.
Williams’ Bon Chretien (n), large, yellow, slightly russet. Juicy, sweet. Pick end August, use September. Slightly spreading. Mid-season flowering.
Winter Nelis (D), dark green, flesh greenish-white. Pick late October, use January. Crops heavily. Late flowering.