Thinking about ordering/planting an asian pear tree but noticed it requires 450 chill hours, does Houston area or zone 9 generally get that much chill hours?
If not nearly to 450 c.h., will the pear tree still survive or thrive?
According to what part of town you live in. The west and north gets much more than that. 450 would be borderline for downtown or the south side. I live on the northeast and get @700 hrs. Pretty much micro climate out here and the Bearcreek area gets over 600 hrs. The tree will grow without enough chill, but will not flower or fruit. If you are not extremely south I would go for it.
Sure hope so, since I have 16 different pear varieties planted :-) None are Asian pears, as I'm a European pear fan, but in general pears will produce even if they don't quite have the chill hours listed. Pears are one of the most adaptable fruit trees of all. And one of the least problematic. They grow very well in my area of S. California, and I'm zone 10a! I grow many varieties that state they need this number of chill hours, but will still do just fine, here. My sister has a Barlett that supposedly requires 500-600 chill hours. They do nothing for it, no spraying, pruning, feeding, nothing except water it when they remember to. They are only about 4 miles from the ocean and they have so many pears their neighbors pull the blinds when they see them coming around the neighborhood with paper bags (that's a bit of an exaggeration, but not that far off!) What Asian pear variety are you considering?
There are some amateur pear growing experts in the Houston area. Call the county ag extension service.
Tennosui is an Asian hybrid with little fireblight problems that should work with the 450.
I'm in New Braunfels, right at the 8b/9a border and there are several pear trees in my neighborhood that fruit readily. My moonglow has no problem with the chill hours I get, and down the road are what I suspect are garber and kieffer trees that just about buckle under the weight of their fruit each year. Stick with the lower chill, fireblight resistant varieties and you should do fine.
This guy lives in Houston and has successfully grown pears. Here's a link to his suggestions.
Here is a link that might be useful: Urban Harvest of Houston
well looks like the chill hrs shouldnt be a problem based on the responses...
1 more issue, are asian pear trees self fertile? I really just want to get 1 since it'll take a bit of my little backyard space.
Charles, pretty sure most if not all Asian pears need a cross-pollenizer. I think Shinseiki is partially self-fertile in warmer climates, but overall, they do need a cross-pollenizer. You can always keep them in check by pruning, though, and get them on dwarfing rootstock to help keep the size down. Raintree has a nice selection, and does grow all their Asian pears on Old Home x Farmingdale rootstock which is dwarfing.
The Tennosui is self-fruitful.