Pear Fruit Growing Guide:
Introduction to Pear Fruit Growing:- Pear is one of the most important fruit crops after apple of temperate regions and is mainly used as a table fruit. Pears can be grown under temperate & subtropical regions due to its wider climatic and soil adaptability. Pear Fruit is a medium sized tree which can reach a height of 35 to 50 feet, often with a tall, narrow crown; a few species are shrubby. Pears can be consumed as fresh, juice, canned, or dried. Pear fruit juice can be used in jellies & jams in combination with other fruits including berries. China is the number one producer of pear fruit in the world. Pear fruit is an excellent source of vitamin ‘C’ and fibre and other beneficial nutrients. Pears can be grown commercially on large scale or just for hobby purpose in backyards, pots and containers. Growing any fruit tree requires good care for yielding quality produce. Pear fruit are just like an apples come in many varieties. However, pear fruit fine granular flesh is more fragile and improves in flavour after they are harvested (picked). Mostly, pear fruits are wide at the bottom when compared to the top. However, some cultivars may be in spherical in shape. Pears exist with skin colour ranging from dull brown to green. One can get decent profits in pear fruit production with proper orchard / garden management practices and dedication and farming knowledge. In the following article, let us talk about “Pear Fruit growing” information from planting to picking up the pears. In India, Commercial pear fruit area are; Eastern Himalayas, Nilgiri Hills (South India), Manipur, Higher hills of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Hills of Assam.
Scientific Name or Botanical Name of Pear Fruit:- Pyrus pyrifolia.
Family Name of Pear Fruit:- Rosaceae.
Genus of Pear Fruit:- Pyrus.
Pear Fruit other Names:- Pear fruit is called with other names such as; Nashi pear, Asian pear, Chinese pear, Korean pear, Japanese pear, Taiwanese pear, and sand pear.
Pear Fruit in other Countries:- Peer (Dutch), Birnen (German), Grusza (Polish), Peur (Scottish), Dardhë (Albanian), kruška (Bosnian), pirn (Estonian), achládi (Greek), péire (Irish), bae (Korean), langasa (Maltese), Naspati (Nepali), Pera (Portuguese), Pera (Spanish), kumetra (Arabic), 梨 (Chinese), Peras (Filipino), Pera (Italian), luukphaae (Thai), quả lê (Vietnamese), Dants (Armenian), sac-tau:si: (Burmese), Päärynät (Finnish), agaseem (Hebrew), nashi (Japanese), bumbieris (Latvian), pară (Romanian), peyar (Sinhalese), Hruška (Czech), poire (French), Kruša (Macedonian), Груша (Russia), päron ( Swedish), armut (Turkish), ipheya (Zulu), Pære (Danish), mskhali (Georgian), körte (Hungarian), buah pir (Malay), 洋梨 (Taiwanese), Hruška (Slovenian).
Pear Fruit in Indian Languages:- Nashpati (Hindi), Perikai (Tamil), Marasebu (Kannada), Sabarjil / Sabariil (Malayalam), Bere kaya (Telugu), Nasapati (Marathi), Nashpati (Bengali), Nashpati (Urdu), Naspati (Gujarati), Naspati (Oriya), Naspati (Punjabi), tung (Kashmiri).
Top 5 Production Countries of Pear Fruit:- The following are the top five production countries of Pears.
- United States of America (USA)
Health Benefits of Pear Fruit:- The following are some of the health benefits of pear fruits.
- Pears are good for digestion and intestinal health.
- Pears are good source of fibre and low in calories.
- Pears have antioxidant properties.
- Regular consumption of pears may prevent from certain types of cancers.
- Pears are good for immune system.
- Pears help in wound healing and tissue repairing.
- Pear fruits help improved circulation & red blood cell count.
- Pears also help reduce inflammation.
- Pears are good for bone health.
- Regular consumption pear fruits are good for skin, hair and eye health.
- Pear fruits may prevent birth defects in pregnant women.
Varieties (Cultivars) of Pear Fruit:- There are thousands of varieties of pear fruits grown across the world. These varieties (cultivars) are classified in two groups. Akanashi (‘Russet pears’) group (yellowish-brown rinds) and Aonashi (‘Green pears’) group (yellow-green rinds). Some of the important and common varieties of pear fruit are; ‘Chojuro’,’Kosui’, ‘Hosui’, ‘Imamuraaki’, ‘Nijisseiki’, ‘Niitaka’, ‘Okusankichi’, ‘Raja’, ‘Shinko’, ‘Hwangkeum’, ‘LeConte’, ‘Keiffer’, ‘Pineapple’, ‘Hood’, ‘Gola’ ‘Huanghuali’, ‘Green Anjou’, ‘Bartlett’, ‘Red Anjou’, ‘Bosc’, ‘Comice’, ‘Red Bartlett’, ‘Concorde’, ‘Patharnakh’ ‘Forelle’, ‘Seckel’ and Starkrimson’, ‘Early China’, ‘Laxton’s Superb’, ‘Fertility(P)’, ‘ Dr Jule’s Guyot’, ‘Seckel’, ‘Winter Nellis’, ‘Clapp’s’, ‘ Starking Delicious’, ‘Favourite’, ‘Flemish Beauty (P)’, ‘China pear’, ‘Beurre-de-Amanlis’ ‘Citron-do-Carme’, ‘Doyenne Bussoch’ ‘Genta Drauard Fertility’ ‘China Sand Pear’, and ‘Viear of Winkfield’.
Climate Requirement for Pear Fruit Growing:- Pear trees can be grown in wide range of climates. They can be grown at an altitude of 1000 to 200 meter above msl (mean sea level). The pear trees can tolerate as low as -25°C when dormant and as high as 44°C during its growing period. Pear trees need chilling of 1,200 hr. below 7°C during winter for flowering and fruit set. The chilling hr. requirements vary from variety to variety. An average annual rain-fall of 1600 to 2000 mm is more than enough for growing pear trees. Low lands should be avoided as spring frost can cause damage pear fruit production and temperatures below -3.4°C can kill the pear blossom.
Soil Requirement for Pear Fruit Growing:- Pear trees can thrive best in deep, well-drained, medium-textured and relatively more clay soil soils. Pear trees prefer deeper soils ( A soil depth of 175 cm is ideal) and the yield would be more in deeper soils when compared to shallow soils. Therefore, a rich sloppy land with a pH range of 5.5 to 6.5 should be ideal for pear fruit growing. Commercial growers of this fruit can go for soil test to find out the suitability. Avoid alkaline soils (High pH soils show iron chlorosis and zinc deficiencies in the pear plants) for pear fruit growing.
Propagation in Pear Fruit Growing:- Pear tree is commonly propagated by whip grafting or shield budding on wild root stocks. However, quince is also used as a root stock of pears to produce dwarf trees. Usually, 1 year old pear seedlings should be whip grafted either indoors or in the nursery during late winter season preceding the 2nd growing season. This makes strong and stocky trees during the following season, either in their original location or after having been transplanted in the actual filed. Shield budding should be done in early spring on seedling rootstocks.
Land Preparation, Planting and Spacing in Pear Fruit Growing:- Land should be prepared in such a way that the fine tilth stage is achieved. Remove weeds and any other dead trees from the previous orchard. Dig the pits size of 1 m x 1 m x 1 m by keeping distance 6 meter (18 feet) x 6 meter (18 feet) in between the pits. Leave the pits for some to expose to sun light. After proper sterilization of the soil, pits should be filled with fertile soil along with 25 to 30 kg of farm yard manure (FMY), wood ash of 5 kg and bone meal of 10 kg, so that it can be mixed well and set in the pits. Now, select 1 year old grafted or budded plants which are having more than 3 feet (1 meter) height and free from all kinds diseases and pests. Plant these in the prepared pits carefully in such a way that buds or graft union remains 25 cm above the ground level. It is recommended that two varieties (cultivars) of pears should be planted since cross-pollination will be required to produce fruits. As pear flowers do not attract bees (Because poor quality of nectar), keeping bee-hives in pear field is more beneficial.
Irrigation in Pear Fruit Growing:- At the time of planting, an irrigation should be given for proper root set in the soil. Frequency of irrigation depends on soil type and climate. Keeping these in minds, irrigation should be carried to maintain the moisture at the plant base. Drip irrigation can adopted along with mulching practices. Excessive watering will affect the fruit colour and quality. Flowering stage and fruiting stages are also critical for watering. Maintain moderate irrigation and there is no need of watering in rainy season. In case of any flooding or heavy rains, make sure to drain out the water as soon as possible.
Manures and Fertilizers in Pear Fruit Growing:- During Initial stages proper manure and fertilizer application is important for vigorous vegetative growth. Subsequent stages, increased quantity of nutrients should be provided for increased yield.
- During initial / early stage: Nitrogen ‘N’ (50 to 100 grams), Phosphorus ‘P’ (40 to 60 grams), Potassium ‘K’ (60-80 grams) should be applied around each plant. Well decomposed farm yard manure (FMY) of 15 to 20 kg should be applied for each plant.
- During full bearing stage: 45-50 kg of farm yard manure (FMY) should be mixed after harvesting or during winter, and a fertilizer mixture of 700 grams of ‘N’ (Nitrogen), 300 grams of ‘P’ (Phosphorus) & 600 grams of ‘K’ (Potassium) should be supplemented in the soil around the plant, 1 month before flowering.
Intercultural Operations in Pear Fruit Growing:- Weeds can be effectively controlled with chemical herbicides like dalaphon at the rate of 10 kg/ha or a combination of dalaphon at the rate of 10 kg and 2, 4-D I kg/ha. Bracing of limbs to prevent breakage is commonly necessary.
Training and Pruning in Pear Fruit Growing:- Training system practiced in Pear fruit growing is “modified leader system”. In order to promote development of lateral branches & low headed trees, training should be carried out by heading back. Only 3 to 4 well shaped lateral branches of plant should be selected to form the good framework. The others should be removed. Buds should also be removed for desired spacing of lateral scaffold limbs. During initial stages of plantation, the plants should be pruned lightly to remove undesirable water sprouts, dead or diseased branches, with a light thinning of top. In early stages of bearing, corrective pruning should be carried out to remove dead or damaged branches, and cross or parallel branches for regulating plant growth. In full bearing trees, as part of pruning, thinner branches and unproductive branches should be removed. Make sure that spurs are NOT removed because they also bear fruits. Thinning is not generally practiced in pear fruit growing.
Pests and Diseases in Pear Fruit Growing:- Pear orchards are less impacted with pests diseases when compared to apple orchards. However, the common pests and diseases found in pear fruit growing are; collar rot, stem and root borers, sanjose scale, powdery mildew, root rot, blossom Thrips. The control measures would be same as those for apple trees. Fruit drop is a common in pear orchards. This can be controlled by spraying of planofix in the form of NAA @ 10 ppm, 15 days before a heavy drop is expected.
Note: Your local Horticulture is a good source for finding suitable solutions for controlling pests and diseases in pear fruit growing.
Harvesting of Pear Fruits:- Harvesting period depends on the variety grown. The pear fruits can be ready to pick up anywhere between 135 to 160 days depending on the variety. Fully matured pear fruits should be harvested for fresh consumption. If the fruits are intended for distant markets and canning purpose, harvest the fruits are still firm and green. For local consumption, fruits can be harvested at slightly later stage. Usually, pears are picked individually by a gentle twist instead of direct pulling. You can harvest in 2-3 pickings at 3-4 days intervals rather than single picking.
Yield in Pear Fruit Growing:- Yield depends on many factors such as soil type, climate, variety , age of the tree and other orchard management practices. On an average one can obtain 30-35 tons/ha under ideal farming methods.
Marketing of Pear Fruits:- Quality fruits should be graded based on their size and boxed for marketing. Contact any fruit agent and you can directly sell at farm gate. Use any local trucks to carry these boxes to local fruit markets. As pear fruits are perishable, care should be taken for long distance market for maintaining the quality.