Pear Tree Pollination

Pollinating Pear Trees - Choosing a Partner pear tree

Use our easy pollination checking tool here.

Many pear trees need to be cross-pollinated with another variety to make fruit.
To help you choose the right trees to pollinate each other, we have put them into 4 groups in the colour coded table below.

A pear tree can cross-pollinate with any tree in its own group or a group next to it on the table, like this:

  • Trees in group A can cross-pollinate with trees in groups A and B.
  • Trees in group B can cross-pollinate with trees in groups A, B and C (i.e. any other tree except Hellen's Early).
  • Trees in group C can cross-pollinate with trees in groups B, C and D.
  • Trees in Group D can cross-pollinate with trees in groups C and D.

Pear Tree Pollination Groups

NameUseHarvestPollination GroupCross Pollinates With Which Groups?
Conference Eating Mid A A,B
Louise Bonne of Jersey Eating Mid A A,B
(Except Williams Bon Chretien)
Beth Eating Early B A,B,C
Beurre Hardy Eating Mid B A,B,C
(A poor pollinator for other pears)
Brandy Perry Mid B A,B,C
Glou Morceau Eating Mid B A,B,C
Merton Pride Eating Early B A,B,C
(Triploid - cannot pollinate other trees)
Williams bon Chretien Eating Early B A,B,C
(Except Louise Bonne of Jersey)
Winter Nelis Eating Late B A,B,C
Cannock Perry Mid C B,C,D
Concorde Eating Mid C B,C,D
Doyenne du Comice Eating Mid C B,C,D
(Except Onward)
Humbug Eating / Cooking Late C B,C,D
Invincible Eating / Cooking Mid C B,C,D
Onward Eating Mid C B,C,D
(Except Doyenne du Comice)
Sensation Eating Early C B,C,D
Hellens Early Eating / Cooking Mid D C,D

 

For two pear trees to cross-pollinate each other, the flowers of both trees need to be open at the same time. The pollination groups above refer to each tree's flowering period. Because the flowering periods overlap, trees can cross-pollinate trees in their group and the one or two groups next to them.

Flowering Dates vs Harvest Dates:
Your pear tree's flowering group is not connected with the date when the fruit ripens.
You will notice that all the early and late cropping pear trees are in the mid season flowering group, while all the early and late flowering trees crop in the main season.

Self Fertile Pear Trees:
Pears aren't very good at pollinating themselves, and in our opinion, only Conference and Concorde are "as good as truly self-fertile". Trees like Louise Bonne of Jersey are partially self-fertile, which means they will carry some half-decent fruit without another variety to pollinate them, but their crops will be better in every way if there is.

If you do not have room for two pear trees, the likelihood is that bees, who fly enormous distances on their rounds, will bring pollen from a neighbour within a few miles who has a compatible pear (which includes ornamental pears). However, it is better to add at least one cordon, in a pot if necessary, as a pollination partner, if you have any doubts. 

See all of our Growing Guides | Look at our range of UK grown Pear Trees

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