Food Gardening Network

Growing Good Food at Home

Should You Fertilize Your Pear Trees?

Mulched tree.

Mulched tree.

Most pear trees don’t need any fertilizer the year they’re planted. The only wild card fertilizer for pear trees is nitrogen. If your trees are growing between 18 and 24 inches each year, the nitrogen level is probably fine. If, after testing your soil, you discover that the nitrogen level is a little low, you can lay down some compost as mulch around the tree base to add nutrients. Beware of adding nitrogen to your trees without checking the soil first; too much nitrogen can cause an unproductive spike in growth. More energy will go to the leaves than to the fruit, and your pear crop may suffer as a result.

It’s always a good idea to keep a 3 to 4 inch layer of mulch around the base of your pear trees. The mulch helps retain moisture in the soil, it moderates the soil temperature, and it keeps weeds and grasses from growing around the base. Just be sure to keep the mulch a few inches from the trunk to prevent trunk rot and damage from rodents. If weeds do sprout up, pull them right away.

Do you fertilize your pear trees? What type of fertilizer do you use? How often do you fertilize? Please tell us exactly how and when you fertilize your pear trees.


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