Pear Tree Pollination

Pollinating Pear Trees - Choosing a Partner pear tree

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 in each of the 3 groups can cross-pollinate trees in their group and 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:
The fact is that many pears aren't very good at pollinating themselves.
Conference and Concorde are as good as truly self-fertile, while trees such as Louise Bonne of Jersey trees are partially self-fertile, which means they will carry some fruit without another variety to pollinate them, but their crops will be much larger if there is.

Not all is lost if you do not have room for two pear trees however.  Pollination is done mainly by bees who fly enormous distances on their pollen "collection" rounds. As long as a neighbour within a few gardens has a compatible pear (which includes ornamental pears) you should be fine.

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

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