Fruit and Nut Crops
Apple | Blackberry & Raspberry | Blueberry | Bunch Grape | Chestnuts | Citrus | Fig | Mulberry | Muscadine Grape | Olives | Peach & Nectarine | Pear | Pecans | Persimmon | Plum | Pomegranate | Strawberry
Pears are satisfactory fruit for the home orchard. Some pears are adapted and produce in abundance, while others do not thrive in the warm climate of Florida. Cultivars that grow quite well throughout north Florida may not be adapted in central Florida. Floradahome, Hood, and Pineapple are the only cultivars recommended for trial south of Gainesville to Orlando.
Pear trees are fertilized using 1/2 pound (1 cup) of 6-6-6 or 8-8-8 per year of age, up to 5 pounds (10 cups) total in January and again in June. Excessive fertilization should be avoided as it may make the tree more susceptible to fire blight disease.
Pears are pruned for two purposes: to remove diseased or dead wood and to train or shape the tree. Most pears tend to grow upright, thereby causing the fruit to be difficult to pick even with the aid of a ladder. Pruning to a modified leader system helps open the center and encourages the tree to spread. Pruning illustrations can be found here: http://dixie.ifas.ufl.edu/pdfs/gardening/pear.pdf
Increased vigor from excessive pruning may accentuate fire blight. If the trees are heavily pruned, reduce the amount of fertilizer applied in relation to the severity of pruning. Heavily pruned trees may not need fertilizer for a year or two.
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