I have to tell you I'm feeling highly delighted today; Would you just look at this blossom! This Conference Pear was planted as part of the 'mini-orchard' in November 2009 on a bitterly cold day, immediately after clearing the choking ivy. After an anxious wait through snow-filled winter days, a few buds proved it had survived its first winter. Not much else happened in 2010. After seeing this, I'm tentatively looking forward to eating some delicious home-grown pears from this 18 month old tree later this year.
Stuff you might like to know...
- The pear trees were supplied on semi-dwarf rootstock so shouldn't grow taller than 10 feet. (A pear tree in a nearby park is SO tall you couldn't reach the fruit even with a high ladder!) The planting holes were part filled with good rich compost as the existing soil in the walled flower borders was pretty tired.
- Fruit trees should be left for their first year, with all blossom pruned off, so that all energy goes into establishing a strong root system.
- Second year trees may need feeding with potassium (for fruit and flowers) and/or nitrogen for growth. I'll use dried poultry pellets for our pear trees which is the organic option. They'll also benefit from deep mulching around the tree with organic matter (such as leaf mould or garden compost) in mid to late spring but make sure the mulch is applied at least 10cm away from the tree to stop the bark rotting. This will help to preserve moisture around the roots in the summer.
- RHS offers more detailed advice on this topic here.