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A pear, along with an apple tree, is rightly ranked among the most popular fruit tree among gardeners. It is grown throughout Europe, as well as in Siberia, the Far East and the Urals. Fragrant and juicy fruits have a beneficial effect on digestion and metabolism, and preparations from them can surprise inveterate gourmets with their taste.
Biological characteristics of the plant
The pear belongs to the Rosaceae family and differs from the apple tree in a more pronounced trunk and the presence of a large number of gloves. The crown of pear trees is high, and the branches are covered with more dense bark than other members of the family. Leaf blades are slightly pubescent, have a slightly serrated or even straight edge and a pronounced pattern of blood vessels.
Particularly beautiful are the inflorescences blooming in the direction from the bottom up: the white petals, of which there are 5 in each flower, have a rounded shape, bright pink anthers are located in their center. Pear Flowers, that is, for successful fruiting they need pollinators.
Pear tree begins to bear fruit at the age of 6 years. The tree reaches its maximum yield by 20 years. The first fruits are always of lower quality, but with age it becomes noticeable improvement in taste, consistency and softness. The color of the fruit ranges from dark green to yellow with a blush (depending on the variety).
The pear can withstand frosts worse than other plants from the Rosaceae family. It is more demanding on soil fertility. Apparently, therefore, many do not dare to start this culture on their site. However, there are many varieties that can successfully grow and bear fruit in the middle lane and the Non-Black Earth region.
How to grow a pear tree
Popular varieties of culture
Pear varieties are divided into three large groups: early, medium-ripening and late. The first category is suitable for gardeners who want to harvest from mid-July or early August, depending on the region of cultivation.
Early ripe varieties
The following varieties of early pears are considered the most popular and widespread among gardeners of amateurs:
- Early summer - medium-sized frost-resistant culture with small barrel-shaped sweet fruits;
- Moldavian early - tall variety, giving juicy large fruits, frost-resistant, comes into bearing very early;
- Mliyevskaya early - a small and compact plant with medium sweet fruits; a variety resistant to cancer and scab;
- July early - medium-sized plant with large fruits and a high degree of frost resistance;
- Early maturing - a high spreading tree with a high degree of winter hardiness, gives medium fruits with excellent taste;
- Lada - medium-sized culture with excellent winter hardiness and small fruits, is considered a classic variety for gardens of the middle lane;
- Chizhovskaya - medium-sized tree with large fruits, early fruiting and tolerates cold.
No less popular with gardeners and pears with medium ripening. Their fruits are stored a little longer than the early ones, and their ripening occurs in early autumn and sometimes continues until mid-October.
Among the most popular mid-season varieties include the following:
- Collective farmer - a strong-growing winter-hardy tree with large fruits stored for a month;
- Cordonovka - a powerful winter-hardy plant with small but very sweet fruits;
- Leningradka - a large tree with rounded fruits, good winter hardiness and poor resistance to scab;
- Forest beauty - classic large-fruited variety with excellent winter-hardiness;
- Muscovite - medium-sized tree with high winter hardiness and medium-sized fruits.
Late ripening varieties
Later varieties are champions in terms of fruit storage (stored in basements and refrigerators until the New Year!). As a rule, such varieties are not intended for cultivation in the non-chernozem zone, since the period of fruit ripeness coincides with the advent of the first frosts. But in regions with milder climates they have no equal.
The following late pear varieties are considered the most popular:
- Bere winter Michurina - medium-sized large-fruited plant with very early fruiting and high resistance to frost;
- October - a small tree giving small tasty fruits that are stored until mid-winter;
- Belarussian late - medium-sized tree with very beautiful fruits, excellent frost resistance and immunity to scab;
- Dekanka winter - a medium-sized and frost-resistant tree with very large fruits stored until spring.
Plant propagation methods
Pear propagation is carried out in two ways:
- Vegetative - by the kidneys and parts of the shoots (vaccination method), rooting of cuttings and root shoots.
- Seed - growing young plants from seeds.
The first option is suitable for budding buds and shoots in the crown of other pear varieties or species compatible with it for better pollination or to increase winter hardiness. The seeds of the plant are propagated in order to obtain new, more productive varieties, or varieties with higher resistance to diseases and adverse conditions.
How to plant a pear tree
Features of planting pear seedlings
The pear is quite demanding on the soil, the moisture contained in it and the general growing conditions. For successful cultivation of pears on your site, it is important to start preparing the chosen planting site in advance. The best option for this culture is a well-lit and purged place with deep groundwater. It is important to remember that not all varieties can withstand wind loads and adversely affect shading.
The soil on the site should not be acidic. To enrich it with nutrients, it is recommended to apply fertilizers in the fall, based on the type of soil:
- heavy loamy ones will require 50 g of superphosphate, 15 g of potassium chloride, 500 g of lime (for deoxidation) and up to 7 kg of organics per square meter;
- on sod-podzolic ones, dolomite (up to 600 g per "square"), calcium chloride (10 to 15 g) and superphosphate (up to 80 g) will need to be refilled.
It is better to plant a pear in spring according to the following pattern: the distance between seedlings in a row is from 5 to 6 meters (depending on the growth strength of future trees), and between rows - 2-3 meters. This area will be enough for the normal development and nutrition of plants even in adulthood.
Young plants need to be planted in pits prepared in advance with sides about a meter wide and at least 60 cm deep. The pit is filled with a topsoil mixed with humus, leafy soil and mineral fertilizers (1 kg of superphosphate, 100 g of potash fertilizers and 600 g of dolomite per pit ) If the soil contains a lot of sand, it is worth adding a bit of clay to the mixture that goes to the bottom of the pit. When planting, the root neck should rise 3-5 cm at the soil level.
Not only tree productivity, but also the quality of the fruit directly depends on the correctness of care. The most important role here is played by the timely application of fertilizers, sufficient watering, proper pruning of the crown, as well as rationing the number of fruits on the tree.
After planting and the first wintering, it is important to provide the pear with nitrogen for the growth and formation of the skeleton of the tree. In the spring it is fed with ammonium nitrate for digging. Also at this time, you can feed the tree with rotted manure or compost, but the volume of nitrogen fertilizers is reduced by a third. It is important to stop such operations before mid-summer, otherwise there is a risk of losing the pear due to freezing due to unripening of the shoots.
Potash and phosphorus fertilizers are applied starting from 5 years after planting. For their delivery directly to the roots, it is better to construct along the perimeter of the crown of the well or trench. The amount of fertilizer is calculated with a reserve of 4 years (for phosphorus) or 2 years (for potash). Adult trees fertilize between rows, laying humus or compost (up to 2 buckets per "square") in them every 3 years. All top dressing is best combined with irrigation, which is carried out three times during the summer. The amount of water depends on the age and growth power of the tree, and is about 40-60 liters per plant.
The formation of the crown begin in the year of planting. To do this, the central shoot is shortened by one quarter of its length, the same is done with weak and growing branches inside the crown. In subsequent years, the formation of the crown consists in shortening growth, pruning uncomfortably growing shoots on the side branches, and removing fattening and weakened branches.
The crown of adult trees (starting from the age of 18) is gradually rejuvenated by shortening pruning to 2-year-old branches and reducing the crown by lateral branching.
Important when growing pears and normalization of fruits. It is required for young trees, because under congestion, shoots may not mature. To prevent this, it is important to leave no more than three pears on one branch - for small-fruited varieties and no more - for large-fruited ones. Adult trees independently get rid of excess ovaries that stop growing and gradually crumble from the tree.
When growing pears in a personal plot, it is important to take care of their protection from freezing, sunburn. It is important to remember that whitewashing, contrary to the prejudices of novice gardeners, protects the booth from overheating and cracking, but it is useless from frost pits. For this purpose, it is better to use sheets of cardboard or roofing paper, rags or spruce branches. Such strapping can also prevent damage to the cortex by rodents.
No less effective protective operation against freezing is the falling asleep of the trunk and part of the crown in young seedlings with snow. It protects from excess sunshine and protects from sunburn.
The preventive treatment of diseases and pests will also help increase the resistance of trees to adverse conditions. The best method is to spray the crown, trunk and skeletal branches with Bordeaux fluid and copper chloroxide.
Pear Diseases and Pests
In order for the pear to please with stable crops, and the plant itself was not weakened, it is important to timely detect diseases and pests on it that can weaken the plant and even cause its death. The most common of them are presented in the following table:
|Name of disease and pests||Signs of plant damage||Methods of struggle|
|Scab||It appears on all parts of the plant, including the stem and fruits in the form of dry spots of dark color, which cork and crack.||Processing the whole plant with DNOC, urea or Nitrafen in early spring, Bordeaux liquid after fruit set and urea solution in the fall.|
|Fruit rot||It affects the fruit, manifests itself in the form of brown spots with the subsequent formation of rounded pillow-shaped mushrooms. Pears mummify over time.||Processing plants with copper chloride or Bordeaux liquid, collecting and destroying rot-affected fruits.|
|Spotting||It affects leaf blades, manifests itself in the form of brown spots with dark dots of the mycelium, as a result of which the leaves fall off.||Crown treatment with DNOC or Nitrafen.|
|Gall tick||It appears in the form of blisters on leaf blades.||Processing crown with colloidal sulfur.|
|Ringed silkworm||Destroys the leaves, which are first gnawed, and then fall off. It can completely depopulate the crown.||Processing of the crown with Chlorophos or Rogor, regular assembly of masonry from plant branches and their destruction.|
The timely detection of any diseases and pests is the key to obtaining excellent harvests of pears and the well-being of trees. It is important to devote a couple of hours a week to this process.