Even without a partridge, a pear tree can add a special touch of
beauty to almost any landscape. But, depending on your needs
ornamental or fruiting - you should do a little research before you
QUESTION: I have been told you need two pear trees to produce fruit.
I just planted an ornamental pear, FLW Cleve Select. My neighbor just
across the road was told if you have another pear tree within a half
mile, that would work for the second tree. He wants to plant a pear
tree. My question: will my ornamental work for his "second" pear tree
if he plants a fruit bearing pear or does he need two of his own?
Thanks for your time and help. -- Mickey VanSickle
ANSWER: Ornamental flowering pears will not work to cross pollinate
fruiting pear trees. When planting a fruiting pear tree, a second
variety of a pear tree should be planted within about 300 feet for
cross pollination. The two fruiting pear varieties should either bloom
at the same time or overlap their blooming period. Otherwise,
pollination will not occur.
QUESTION: I have a Cleveland pear tree and half of the leaves are
dead-looking and brown colored. Any idea what is causing this problem?
Your help is appreciated. John Young
ANSWER: It sounds as if your tree is showing signs of stress. A few
things that you will want to check are: Fire blight Freeze damage
Frost damage Wind damage Over/under watering Borers Residue from
chemicals sprayed in the area
These are probably the most common reasons for pear trees to show
stress. You can narrow the list by eliminating any that you know
definitely could not be responsible. When youve narrowed the list,
you might want to take a sample twig or a photo to a garden center or
better still, call your nearest Ag Extension Service, as they might be
knowledgeable about any causes specific to your local area. If you
need help locating your local Extension Service, drop me an e-mail.
QUESTION: I am having a problem with some of my trees that I plant
that die due to girdling. The root just goes in a circle and kills
itself. What can I do to prevent this? Fran Imlay
ANSWER: For readers who are unfamiliar with the term, girdling refers
to the tendency of the roots of some trees to grow tightly around the
main stem of the tree and slowly restrict the movement of water and
nutrients. As a result, leaves become smaller, paler in color and less
One preventative action is root pruning and/or fraying out the roots
of container-grown plants before transplanting.
Here is a link to very helpful online article from the University of
Ohio Extension Service about root girdling: http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1139.html
You can also click on a direct hot link to that article when you find
this column at my Web site, www.landsteward.org
QUESTION: I am wondering if you can suggest to me what to plant in my
backyard that seems to be damp and moist most of the time. We are
having three of our Austrian pines removed because of the drought last
summer. We have been told they are dead. The area is in direct
sunlight and the ground area seems to be damp due to a water drop off.
What are some good trees or plants to replace in this area? We want
something for privacy as well as beauty. -- Vernice
ANSWER: Sorry to hear about your pines, Vernice. I suggest you take a
look at the following trees that could be what you need: Maples, bald
cypress and river birch. Something you might not have thought of:
Growing bamboo and taller growing grasses in larger containers. They
provide quick privacy and can be moved around as other plants begin to
grow taller. Some other plants that Id suggest for your backyard are
Canna lilies, Nandina, Hibiscus and laurels. I hope this gives you
some ideas to build on.
The Plant Man is here to help. Send your questions about trees, shrubs
and landscaping to firstname.lastname@example.org and for resources and
additional information, or to subscribe to Steves free e-mailed
newsletter, visit www.landsteward.org