Why Aren't There Any Pears On Your Pear Tree?

When you planted a pear tree in your yard, you probably had visions of harvesting juicy, sweet fruit off that tree every fall. But this reality does not come true for all homeowners. Sometimes, a pear tree either stops bearing fruit entirely or only bears a couple of pears -- not enough to make for an exciting harvest. Usually, there's a good reason for this lack of production, and it can be addressed if you can just figure out what it is. Here are three common reasons why pear trees don't produce.

You don't have a pollinating partner.

Pear trees are not generally self-fertile. What this means is that the flowers on your pear tree must be pollinated with the pollen from another pear tree in order for fruit to develop. If there are no other pear trees near your land, a single pear tree won't bear very much fruit. You can solve this problem by planting a second tree to serve as your tree's pollinating partner. Make sure it is a different variety of pear tree from the one you already have. If you know what variety your pear tree is, a local nursery should be able to recommend a variety that does a good job of pollinating that type.

It has not been trimmed in a long time.

Tree branches only produce fruit for a certain number of years. The older branches should be trimmed away to allow newer branches, which will bear more fruit, to grow. If it has been more than two or three years since your pear tree was last trimmed, contact a tree pruning service and make an appointment. It's best to do this in the late fall or early spring when the tree is bare and before any buds appear. With any luck, the season after the pruning will lead to a few more pears -- and two seasons later should bring plenty of pears once the tree has grown some younger, newer branches.

It's being over-fertilized.

It would seem like if your tree were not producing pears, it may need for fertilizer. In fact, many homeowners start dumping more and more fertilizer on their trees once they notice a lack of production. Unfortunately, this has the opposite effect that you desire. Too much nitrogen (the main ingredient in most fertilizers) causes the tree to grow a lot of excess wood rather than producing fruit. If you have been fertilizing your fruit tree, it's time to stop. A few heavy rains and a season or two should wash enough nitrogen away to allow your tree to produce pears again.