There are two important considerations when growing pears and choosing pear varieties:
- Pears are a heat loving fruit
- Pears are naturally a big tree
Taking the heat loving consideration first, the best location for a pear tree is where the it will receive full sun and protection from cold winds. A sheltered area next to a fence of wall would be ideal. For less ideal situations, choose pear varieties with a tolerance for colder weather.
Owing to their large natural size, pears are often grafted onto quince root stock to limit their growth. For example, quince C root stock limits the tree to less than 3 metres height, and quince A to four to five metres height. A tree supplier will likely be able to confirm the maximum size of the tree. A smaller number of dwarf varieties are also available. It is possible to train pear trees into cordons and espaliers as another solution for controlling the size of a tree.
Although some pear varieties are self fertile, all trees will benefit from having at least one pollinating partner of another suitable variety to maximise the crop. In practice, many people rely on the work of bees travelling around a neighbourhood on the assumption that another garden or allotment will have a suitable tree nearby. If this does not apply, then careful research is needed to find at least two tree varieties to grow together that are pollinating partners, based on having a similar flowering season. Some pear tree varieties need two pollinating partners.
Whilst acid pear varieties do exist (for cooking), the majority of home growers select dessert or eating varieties for their garden or allotment. There are differences in harvest time, with the earliest pear varieties in fruit in August, whilst late varieties are not in season until October or November.