Belonging to the same plant family as the apple and very similar in cultivation, propagation and pollination, pears trees are medium sized, and can reach to up to 17m tall. They normally have a tall and elegant, narrow crown, although some are shrubby.
Pear trees are naturally very deep rooting and like a light, sandy soil. However, if you have a damp, clay soil or want to grow a pear tree in a large pot, some pear cuttings are grafted onto shallow-rooted quince rootstocks which are more suited to these conditions – our staff will advise on the best rootstock for your situation.
Remember that you will need at least two trees to ensure the flowers are fertilised. However amongst the several varieties available at Cleeve Nursery you will find Concorde – a self fertile new variety that tastes similar to the Comice pear but it is much easier to grow. It forms a compact tree and its juicy fruits, ripe in September, store well for up to 8 weeks.
Pears are good for espalier-training. Buy a year-old tree and train it yourself, by pruning the branches so the tree grows flat against the wall in a fan shape or along horizontal wires. Trees that are two or three years old and already trained will be quicker to crop.