Kiefer Pear flowering time

cougiecat(8b)January 1, 2009

I just bought a house with a beautiful pear tree. I was wondering what month I should expect it to bloom & fruit. It bloomed in October, which I thought was a fluke. Now there are ~ a dozen baby pears on the tree. Is this my crop? Or will it bloom again in the spring? The Bradfords in the front yard did not bloom at the same time, and I assumed they would be needed for efficient pollination.

I was told it fruits on alternate years and 2008 was a HUGE crop, so I am not expecting many (any) fruits this year.

I'd like to know whether or not I should pick all the fruits on the tree now or if I should let them ripen?

Also is there a 'best month' to prune in S. LA? I've probably already past it, but I'm wanting to cut off about 10 ft of waterspouts.

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

A good time to prune is whenever the need is obvious. You can prune now but figure on one or more followup prunings during the growing season. My Kieffer blooms way too early, like in Febr. But you don't have the frost problems we do.

Sounds like your tree is heavily biennial bearing so it may not bloom this spring. If you want fruit every year you must thin heavily when it sets a big crop. The few fruit on the tree now are of no consequence. Might as well leave them and see what they do, which will probably be little to get excited about. Pears need some heat while they ripen to have good quality. Your winter crop won't have that.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 2:31PM
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Thanks so much fruitnut

I called the previous owners, and they said the fruits usually rot off. One is already splitting, so I guess I'll not worry too much either way. If I feel like eating an under ripe pear (which ain't half bad), I'll grab one. Of course I forgot to ask if the pear was actually a Kieffer... but now that I know how to contact the owners I can always ask again.
It's so hard to thin beautiful fruit, but I know you're right about having to do that next year. And thanks for the go ahead on pruning whenever the heck I want. I've been doing that anyway, but I always felt guilty afterwards.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 3:31PM
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Okay.....I would like to know if the new Kieffer I planted will pollinate an unknown Asian pear? Long story short, I had a bit of distraction at the nursery and picked up an Asian pear without reading the tag. I have no idea what variety of Asian pear it actually is! You mentioned that Kieffer is an early bloomer. We have several Bradford pears in the neighborhood, unfortunately, but I'm hoping that one way or the other, I won't have to purchase another pear. I have room for one more tree this year, so I'd like to make it count! I planted an Ayers, a Kieffer and the "Asian," along with several other fruit trees. Thanks for any info. you can provide. Betty Smith

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 10:03PM
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BJ, I'm either in 7a or 8b, I'm not sure, so we may have similar weather & bloom times.. This year my Keiffers started to bloom 3/15, and my asian pears 1-2 weeks later. I bet you'll eventually have overlap & plenty of pollination. The bradfords will help too.

Your Ayers may take 6-7 years to start blooming so it won't help much with pollination for a while. Asian pears bloom here in 2-3 years; so you may want to consider another asian pear, it will provide pollination sooner. The trick would be to get a different variety than you have now.

Where are you located?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 9:28PM
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Hi, B!
The front yard of our home is our new orchard area. I have 5 blueberries, 5 plum trees, 2 apples, 3 cold hardy bananas, and 3 pear trees. I have little or no idea what to do with them except keep them watered and pruned. Past that, no idea! I think that's why I'm a bit concerned about having the correct pollinator. I realize I could waste a few years waiting on fruit if I have to wait till spring, then plant another tree and wait for it to grow up. I love the idea of having an orchard and I've always wanted to do this. Now, I just need to figure out how to do it all correctly. I read today that you aren't supposed to mix the soil when planting, but we have fairly heavy clay soil in our yard, so I did mix it with compost and manure. Is that going to be a major issue? I have a wild pear tree that I think is probably a Bradford. It has never set fruit, but is about 20 ft. tall. And it STINKS in the springtime. It also has a very narrow fork in the center. It survived Katrina, so I guess I'll have to keep it. The local nurseryman tells his clients that Bradford will pollinate the other pears. Little concerning because my Dad, who has grown pears for a number of years tells me that "A Bradford pear will ruin a good tree!" I think he was talking about fireblight. Guess we'll see! Any advice, encouragement, etc. that you can spare as I'm starting this process would be greatly appreciated!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 1:35AM
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Welcome to the group. There's not much to pears beyond what your doing; the trick is to choose pears that are fireblight resistant in your area. Keiffer & Ayers are great choices, fireblight wont kill them. The key to asians is picking the right fb resistant variety for your area; probably the best source of info is your dad!; many local nurseries simply repackage ca plants and don't really know what does well in your area.

The plum taste will blow away anything you can buy in the store; but they're going to be much harder to grow than pears; you'll need a spray program. I'm about to give up on peaches, they take more time than I have.

The experts seem to recommend against amending the soil; you're probably ok; but I wouldn't do it again.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 7:31AM
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Thanks, B!
I have a mature plum tree in our yard and it is awesome! You're right. Nothing like what you find in the store. We use them for preserves and there is just nothing like them.
Since posting, I've ordered a Korean Giant and a Hosui. I think between those 3, as well as the European pears I've planted, they should be covered.
Take care and Happy 4th everyone!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 4:44PM
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Hope you have better luck than I'm afraid you might...
Korean Giant was the most exquisitely fireblight-susceptible Asian I ever grew here; also the most tasteless pear I ever fruited, so it didn't pain me too much when the FB finally took it.
UofKY fruit specialists claim that Hosui is very FB susceptible, but it's not been a problem for me - and evidently worked well for Travis Callahan, who used to be the NAFEX Southern Pear Interest Group coordinator.

Here is a link that might be useful: T&D Callahan Gardening page

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 5:28PM
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Bj, btw, where are you located?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 5:55PM
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Hey, B! Hey, Lucky!
I'm in Columbus, MS. I received a pollinator chart from a fellow at the MSU ag. program. That's why I chose those two. Thanks for the link! I'll have to check that out.

Happy 4th, everyone!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 2:13PM
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