Cross-Pollination of Pear Trees. Pear trees begin forming fruit after pollination of the blossoms occurs in springtime. Although some varieties of pear are self-pollinating, most pear trees must be cross-pollinated to produce the best fruit.
Pear trees begin forming fruit after pollination of the blossoms occurs in springtime. Although some varieties of pear are self-pollinating, most pear trees must be cross-pollinated to produce the best fruit.
Pollination is the transfer of pollen grains from the male anthers of a flower to the female stigma of another flower. In pears, cross-pollination occurs when pollen is transferred between different cultivars or varieties of pear trees.
Most pear trees must be cross-pollinated, but not all varieties are compatible. For example, the Seckel pear is compatible with the Bosc pear but not the Bartlett. According to the University of Missouri Cooperative Extension website, a few varieties such as the Bartlett and Anjou are able to set fruit using their own pollen, but cross-pollination produces the healthiest, most abundant crop. Check with your extension office for information about compatible pear varieties for your area.
Pears are pollinated primarily by bees, particularly honeybees. According to the Missouri Extension, because pear blossoms produce little nectar, pear trees require more pollinator insects than any other type of fruit tree. Commercial orchards often rent beehives during bloom time to ensure adequate pollination. To protect pollinator insects, never use pesticides on flowering trees.
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