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:
Pear Tree Pollination Groups
|Name||Use||Harvest||Pollination Group||Cross Pollinates With Which Groups?|
|Louise Bonne of Jersey||Eating||Mid||A||A,B
(Except Williams Bon Chretien)
(A poor pollinator for other pears)
(Triploid - cannot pollinate other trees)
|Williams bon Chretien||Eating||Early||B||A,B,C
(Except Louise Bonne of Jersey)
|Doyenne du Comice||Eating||Mid||C||B,C,D
|Humbug||Eating / Cooking||Late||C||B,C,D|
|Invincible||Eating / Cooking||Mid||C||B,C,D|
(Except Doyenne du Comice)
|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.