Pear Trees

Q: Do I need more than one variety of pear tree in order for it to produce fruit?

A: There are several varieties of pear that are relatively self-fruitful, which means that they will at least partially pollinate themselves from their own flowers or by pollen from another tree of the same variety. Most pear trees are self-unfruitful, which means that they will need to have a different variety of pear tree planted nearby in order for the tree to produce fruit. However, for best fruit production, two different varieties should be planted for both self-fruitful and self-unfruitful varieties. When selecting a tree to cross-pollinate with a pear tree, it is important that they both flower at the same time and are winter hardy to your area. It will also be important to pick varieties that are disease resistant. According to the University of Illinois Extension, 'Moonglow' and 'Seckel' will cross-pollinate and they both will cross-pollinate with 'Maxine' or 'Starking Delicious'. However, 'Maxine' and 'Starking Delicious' are similar varieties and will not pollinate each other.