A pear tree is a great choice of fruit tree for a Midwest or northern garden. They are often winter hardy and produce tasty fall fruit. Choose ‘Gourmet’ pear trees for a versatile pear that can be used for fresh eating, baking, and desserts. Care for Gourmet is straightforward and well worth the spring flowers and juicy, sweet fall fruits.
Gourmet Pear Info
Gourmet pear trees are medium in size, growing to 15 to 20 feet (4.5 to 6 m.) tall and spreading eight to 15 feet (2.4 to 4.5 m.). These pears are hardy in zones 4 through 8, so they can be grown throughout most of the upper Midwest, the plains states, the Rocky Mountain region and into the southeastern states and New England.
The fruit of the Gourmet pear tree is medium with skin that is mostly yellow when ripe but with a tinge of green left. The skin tends to be thick, but it isn’t difficult to bite or cut. This pear’s flesh is light yellow in color, juicy, sweet, and crisp. It makes a great choice for desserts and baking, but is also tasty enjoyed fresh from the tree. The fruit is ready to harvest by mid- to late-September.
Growing Gourmet Pears
Care for a Gourmet pear tree is similar to that for other varieties of pear. They need full sunlight for at least six hours a day, plenty of space to grow, well-draining soil, and another pear variety in the area for pollination. It is important to know, however, that ‘Gourmet’ is pollen sterile, so while it needs another tree to be pollinated, it won’t return the favor and pollinate the other tree.
Most pear trees will do well with just one dose of fertilizer per year, although you may also want to amend the soil around the tree with rich compost before planting.
Use mulch around the trunk to hold in moisture and deter weeds. Water the young tree regularly during the first growing season and then only as needed after that.
Prune the tree in the first season to a central leader with a few outward branches. Continue pruning as needed in the dormant season in subsequent years.
Pear trees require little work once established, so take the time to provide your young ‘Gourmet’ with nutrients, water, and shaping early and you won’t have to do much for it in the coming years other than harvest and enjoy the fruit.