Often simply known as 'Williams', the fruits of this superb pear turn yellow as the flesh ripens. Pear 'Williams Bon Chretien' is an early fruiting variety producing large yellow non-gritty fruits with an excellent sweet and juicy flavour. This British bred pear is perfect for poaching and preserving, as well as eating fresh from mid to late September.
This variety is partially self-fertile. For the heaviest crops it is best grown with another variety. If you only have room for one tree then make sure that a neighbour has a tree close by that can act as a suitable pollinator.
Estimated time to cropping once planted: 2 years.
Estimated time to best yields: 5 years.
1 x 24cm potted low stem pear plant (Kwee A Rootstock) (KB9925)
1 x 9 litre potted pear plant (Quince A Rootstock) (KC2428)
1 bare root pear tree (Quince A Rootstock) (14282)
Plant pear trees in any well drained soil in a sheltered sunny position. Prior to planting, incorporate plenty of well rotted manure or garden compost into the planting hole and drive the stake into the ground to support the tree. Staking after planting may result in damage to the root ball. Plant fruit trees at their original soil level and firm them into the ground. Fasten the tree to the stake using a tree tie, and water well. Pears will produce the best crops when planted near to another pear tree to increase pollination.
These plants are lifted from the nursery field when dormant, and sent to you in late autumn or spring for planting. They often look dead on arrival, but they are just resting in the dormant period and will establish quickly for a strong start in the garden come spring. Set out in prepared soil in holes wide enough and deep enough to lay out the roots. Tread down the planting soil to knock out air pockets. Water well to settle. Apply a mulch to protect roots from cold temperatures. If conditions prevent immediate planting, set roughly into loose soil or a pot of compost (‘heeling in’) to protect the roots. Set these at the same level as they were in the nursery field – you should see a soil line at the base of the stem. Stake trees, taller shrubs and roses to prevent root disturbance.
Fruit trees do not suffer weed competition well. Keep weeds and grass clear from within a 30cm radius of base of the tree. In spring, while the ground is moist, apply a mulch of well rotted manure or garden compost around the base of the tree, taking care not to mound it up against the stem. This will help to retain moisture throughout the summer. Feed pear trees regularly and water during particularly dry periods.
Pruning pear trees begins immediately after planting. Remove the central stem to just above the highest side branch. For the following 3 years, prune only the tips of the remaining main branches by one third in winter. Aim for about eight main branches which will form the frame of your tree, with fruiting sub branches growing off of them. From the fourth year, some sub branches can be pruned out at the union where they join the main branch, to allow new sub branches to take their place.
In order to produce the best quality, largest pears, the fruits should be thinned in July leaving one or two pears remaining per cluster.
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