Fruitless Pear Trees Not Budding

Question:

We planted two fruitless pear trees last fall. They have not started budding yet this spring. They are still alive as the limbs are still green. Is the not budding from it being too cold this spring and they haven't had a chance to bud? I would like to know if there is anything I can do to help them along or if they will most likely be a loss. Thank you.

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Hardiness Zone: 4a

Mary from West Fargo, ND

Answer:

Mary,

A lack of flowers is a common complaint among growers of ornamental pears (as well as fruit-bearing types). There are a number of reasons fruitless pear trees fail to flower. Any one or a combination of these factors could be the problem.

  1. Temperatures during the winter or spring fluctuate to the extent that the flower buds lose their ability to withstand the cold. Sudden drops in temperature can kill flower buds in a hurry.

  2. Your tree is getting too much fertilizer. Too much nitrogen encourages vegetative growth, but not flowering.

  3. Insufficient light exists within the canopy of the tree.

  4. You are growing the wrong type of cultivars for your region. Even though they may grow and survive your winters, the wrong cultivars may fail to produce flowers.

  5. Your soil pH is too high. Pears can be temperamental when it comes to soil pH. They generally like things slightly acidic (at a pH 7 or just below). North Dakota tends to have soil that is quite alkaline, so you may want to consider getting yours tested.

  6. Your trees are still settling into their new surroundings. It isn't uncommon for trees to get off to a slow start during the first season after being transplanted. As long as your trees are alive and the limbs are still green, don't give up on them just yet.

Ellen

About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com

June 2, 20080 found this helpful

Give them a little more time. I'm in MO and ours just budded last week. Since you are further north, I'd give it another week or two.

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June 12, 20080 found this helpful

Hi, we live in zone 3 and this spring is cool and rainy, our pear tree is exactly as you describe yours. I think we will have to be patient and wait this year, I hear we are 3 plus weeks behind for spring this year. Hope this helps. Shar

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May 16, 20090 found this helpful

As you can see, I am in SO CA and my tree has lots of buds, stems are green, but it is hardly blooming. This is the first time in over 5 years, that it has bloomed before this time. I read somewhere that one shouldn't plant flowers around a tree. I had succulents around it and have started pulling them all out today. Would appreciate any suggestions that you may have. I mean this is California; we don't have winters!

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June 10, 20090 found this helpful

I planted 3 flowering pears at the end of February and all three haven't flowered or leafed out yet. I am thinking about taking them back to the nursery and getting 3 replacement trees. I live in a zone 9 Mesa AZ. I am really quite disappointed because I planted 3 citrus and a peach tree at the same time and those are doing much better than the pear trees.

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