Pears, like apples, require a deep well-drained soil with plenty of humus, especially in the young stages. Newly planted pear trees are apt to stand still for a year or two, due partly to faulty planting, but chiefly to insufficient food of a nitrogenous character. Manure and decaying leaves added to the soil at planting time will prevent this.
Pears will succeed on heavy soils if attention is paid to drainage. As with most plants, waterlogging is fatal, so dig the ground really deeply before planting. Aspect is another factor to which pears are very accommodating. By careful choice of varieties, they can be grown on north as well as on south walls.
As pears bloom fairly early in the year, they are likely to be damaged by late spring frosts, so that where a sheltered position is available this should be selected, although it is not essential.
Some varieties of pear give even better results if they are double grafted. By this it is meant that the root system is a type on to which a variety of pear is grafted. A year later on to this variety is grafted a second variety which will produce the ultimate fruiting branches. This method has been found to give more, certain control over age, of bearing, quality and strength of tree. Choose a reliable nurseryman and you will be sure that the trees you buy are properly worked.
The pears are a genus of small trees mainly from south eastern Europe. Those with silver or white woolly leaves are most ornamental hardy garden trees, tolerant equally of town conditions and of seaside exposure.
Pyrus nivalis becomes a conspicuous tree in early spring when masses of snow-white flowers appear with the white woolly young leaves. It makes a pleasing contrast when planted with the purple-leaved plum. P. canescens (nivalis x salicifolia) provides a similar effect.
P. salicifolia pendula, the weeping willow-leaved pear, is a very effective tree, suitable for most gardens. The branches of this elegant and picturesque small tree usually weep to the ground. The narrow silvery leaves are effective throughout the growing season while the cream-white flowers with red stamens are an added attraction in the spring. A first-class weeping garden tree.