Position – For pollination, they need to be planted relatively close to different varieties with the same blooming period. They should be planted 3.5 to 5 metres apart from one another and require full sun. Add plenty of compost to the hole into which you’ll be planting your tree.
Size – The Packham pear tree averages a height of between 3.5 and 5 metres with a similar spread.
Soil Type – Soil that is well-draining and has a neutral pH is ideal for pear trees. It should be moist, but not waterlogged. So, sandy or loamy soils are great options. Packham pears tend not to be too fussy when it comes to soil and are able to thrive in different soil types.
Mulch – A deep organic mulch helps to add nutrients to the soil, prevent weeds and retain the moisture in the soil. In the spring, use well-rotted compost as mulch. For the rest of the year, sawdust and wood chips are ideal.
Watering – Water your trees every week when you’ve just planted them. Once they are well established, the soil should be kept moist, but not flooded.
Fertilising – Only fertilise your Packham pear tree if your soil is severely lacking in nutrients. Even then, only fertilise them once a year. For a pear tree in your garden, a slow-release fertiliser will last the whole year. Over-fertilising it will prevent your tree from producing fruit.
Pruning – Prune your Packham pear as soon as you’ve planted it. Keep only the central trunk and three to five other branches that grow out (not up). Prune off the other branches and trim the ends of the remaining boughs to encourage them to grow. As your tree continues to grow, lob off any crossed branches as well as fast-sprouting branches that are growing upwards.
Harvesting – The tree blossoms in early spring. Your Packham pears are ready to be harvested when the skin has changed from green to pale yellow with patches of russeting (brown patches that feel rough). You should pick them while they are still firm and allow them to ripen off the tree, in the cooler conditions of the indoors. Eat them as soon as they soften.