Pear Tree Pollination Question

jusme_newby(5b North-Central MO)May 24, 2009

I have two Bradford Pear trees in the back yard and one ornamental pear tree in the front yard, about 150 feet away from the Bradfords. Question: Will the non-bearing tree pollinate the Bradfords?

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Ornamental pear tree works for me to pollinate asian pear. I was suprised, but it works.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 9:13PM
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jusyou newby:

I am confused by your post. Ornamental pears are ornamental, not fruiting. Bradford pears are also ornamental. What is there to pollinate, and why?

Bradford pears have tiny fruit that is inedible. But they do have seeds, and are capable of dropping them around causing a lot of seedling pear trees to come up in the yard. Be grateful if they are not pollinated. I am not certain that Bradfords would pollinate a fruiting pear -- I have heard it both ways -- but suspect that they would if you meant to say fruiting pear instead of ornamental.

Bradfords can be attractive landscape specimens when they are young, but as they grow older and larger, they are betrayed by their brittle wood and weak crotch angles. A good windy thunderstorm can leave half a tree, or bring them down altogether. Callery type pears used to be very popular for decorative plantings in the east, but that popularity has declined as people have finally begun to figure that out.

A good flowering crabapple, cherry, or best of all a nice double flowered peach would be a better choice for the landscape.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   May 25, 2009 at 12:25AM
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logrock(7b (NW of Atlanta))

One year later ... reviving this thread. Does anyone have proof that a Bradford pear will pollinate a fruiting pear tree?

Why I ask is that one of my two pear trees died last year and I replaced it this winter so obviously will not have flowers this year (or next?). However, the older pear tree had one or two flowers last year (while the sick one had none), yet I got one super delicious fruit off the good tree. How did it get pollinated?

It is possible that one of my neighbors has a fruiting pear tree so that could be the pollen source, but I'm sure the breezes and bees in this neighborhood are loaded with pollen from the ubiquitous Bradford pear trees.

The older pear tree now has many blossoms which will probably open this weekend. So... you pear experts out there.... should I make an effort to obtain a few blossoms from another fruiting pear to improve my chances of getting any fruit or should I take my chances with the "wild" pollen?

Ron, (Dallas GA, Zone 7b)

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 10:27AM
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Can a flowering pear tree or callery pear pollinate a kieffer pear tree? Anyone please help me!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 11:44AM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

If the blooms overlap, I dare to say yes.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 5:59PM
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ahajmano(sunset 23, Mission Viejo CA)

Does anyone know where to find a bloom chart?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 6:03PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Yes...or so i think...

I've been pollinating a Seckel with a Bradford pear the past few years...seems to work. I just bag the blossoms (Bradford) and use a fine paintbruss and paint the pollen on....

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 7:05PM
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alan haigh

The mystery of pear pollination is that they are often fully self fruitful if weather is warm after bloom. When they need pollination a bradford will work if bloom times overlap as suggested. Seckel is a very early flowering Euro. You can easily find out if other Euros flower earlier or later just by asking a nursery that sells the variety you want to know about- it the nursery sells to commercial growers, that is.

If a pear flowers with Sekel it will probably be compatible with a Bradford, but flowering time is highly regional and the further north you go the more overlap there is because the entire bloom season shrinks. Trees that are compatible up north often don't work further south.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 6:06AM
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Thanks for the insight. I hadn't thought of it that way. Makes sense after thinking about it. My first thought was that shorter bloom periods would mean less overlap.

But I interpret your post to mean that in the North the signals that plants key off of to bloom are unambiguous and precipitous. Varieties that generally would begin bloom at varying times because some are more sensitive to nature's signals and some need a lot more stimulous to get the clue instead get the signal all at once.

Am I following you correctly.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 12:57AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Frank, Seckel is self-fruitful. Don't need a cross pollinator. It is a very dependable setter. In fact, of my 17 pear trees planted, it was the first to produce fruit.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 1:48PM
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alan haigh

In Vista Ca, most pears are self fruitful. In S. CA Bartletts used to be grown commercially all by themselves, so dependable was there parthenocarpic (without seeds) fruit production and I've read accounts by southern growers that most every pear will productively fruit by itself down there.

That said, I too have seen Seckel pears reliably set fruit in NY state without the help of another variety and I've occasionally seen others fail so you are probably right in picking it out as being particularly cooperative.

As far as the concentration of bloom, I am unaware of the specific mechanism that condenses the blooming season further north and have never read about in the literature. I discovered it by accident when reading accounts of other growers further south and observing earliest and latest flowering apples here.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 7:06PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

I've been using the GRIN database to help me choose cultivars that bloom simultaneously and ripen separately.

*Use caution with this site. It can consume massive amounts of time:)

Here is a link that might be useful: FULLBLOOM in study PYRUS.CORVALLIS.1990

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 9:49PM
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