If you have limited space to grow fruit trees, dwarf pear trees can be a really good idea for several reasons. Not only can you grow several dwarf trees instead of one full sized tree, the trees can start to bear fruit earlier too. Planting the trees closer together can also facilitate effective pollination. Disease control, pruning and harvesting are also easier with the smaller trees. So clearly dwarf fruit trees can have several advantages. Here are some helpful tips on how to grow them.
1. Selecting the Right Variety
Pick varieties such as Colette Dwarf, Beurre Bosc Dwarf, Max-Red Bartlett, Seckell or Moonglow Dwarf Pear varieties.
2. Finding the Right Spot
Pick an open spot that gets plenty of sunlight. An open space, garden or lawn is a good idea so long as there are no tall trees or shrubs that could obstruct sunlight or deprive the trees of nutrients and moisture. It is important to plant the trees in a way that snow or sleet from the roof will not affect the trees. The dormant blossom should be protected from winter injury or frost damage. Remember very low temperatures can negatively impact pollen tube growth.
3. Type of Soil
Fertile, well drained soil that is nutrient rich will ensure healthy trees and better yield. Fertilizer or manure should be used each year to maintain soil fertility and nutrients. A pH level of 6.5 is ideal for dwarf pears.
4. How to Plant
Dwarf trees should be planted 10 (dwarf) to 20 (semi dwarf) feet apart from each other to allow proper growth and yield as well as for proper pest control. However they should be close enough for proper pollination. It is also a good idea to grow certain dwarf varieties in containers.
5. Soil Nutrition and Fertilization
Too little nutrition as well as too much fertilization can be bad for growth and fruit yield so guard against both. Experts advise that it is best to fertilize dwarf pears in about the second year of life and this ideally should be done a few weeks before the first bloom. Over-fertilization can mean problems, so consider whether older, well established trees need any fertilization at all.
6. Protecting Against Pests and Diseases
Protect the trees against insect damage by regular spraying and also arrest problems such as fireblight, brown rot, etc. before they get out of hand.
Pruning of dead branches, over-long branches or those that have become unfruitful can help to increase yield and health of the tree. Ideally prune during the dormant season.