Pear Tree Fertilization Program – How to fertilize Pear Trees
Contemporary farming practices suggest that once a year (on summer –July, August) we should collect at least 100 leaves from our pear trees and send them to laboratory for a detailed nutrient analysis. If we detect that the average leaf has some nutrient deficiencies (some important chemical elements are below acceptable standards), then we can intervene and correct the nutrient problems by adding the proper element, for instance a calcium amendment, always after consulting a certified agronomist.
The normal levels of the most important nutrient are listed below:
N: 2,3% – 2,7%
P: 0,14% – 0,4%
K: 1,2% – 2,2%
Ca: 1,5% – 2%
Mg: 0,25% – 0,5%
Nitrogen and Potassium are very important for leaf growth, flowering and fruit set, while Phosphorus is crucial for the development of a strong root system especially at the early stages of plant development. Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Zinc and Boron are also important for various stages of bud development, flowering and fruition and any deficiency will have a negative effect in fruit number, quality and general tree health.
As a rule of thumb, mature fruit bearing pear trees need more fertilization than young trees that have not entered their fruition period. Professional pear farmers often start fertilizing trees when they become 2 years old. A common fertilization scheme used by numerous pear farmers is adding 180 lbs. (82 kg) of N, 140 lbs. (63 kg) of P2O5, 110 lbs. (50 kg) of MgO and 400 lbs. (182 kg) of K2O per hectare, assuming that there are 600-800 trees per hectare and no cover crops. Keep in mind that 1 ton = 1000 kg = 2.200 lbs. and 1 hectare = 2,47 acres = 10.000 square meters. These quantities are normally spread in 3-4 different application sessions during the year. Boron, Zinc and Calcium foliar fertilizers are added according to leaf analysis. Foliar feeding programs are applied from spring until harvest, but the critical period is 5-7 weeks after flowering. Alternatively, many farmers add once a year 2-3 lbs. (0,9 – 1,4 kg) of 12-12-17+2MgO per young tree and 7 to 12 lbs. (3 – 5,4 kg) of 12-12-17+2MgO per mature pear tree.
However, these are just common practices that should not be followed without making your own research. Every field is different and has different needs. Checking the soil nutrients and pH is vital before applying any fertilization method. Moreover, if a full coverage irrigation system is combined with the presence of clover or other cover crop in a dense planting system, the need for fertilizing pear trees is remarkably reduced, because the cover crop normally produces organic matter that is decomposed, releasing important nutrients to the soil (ask a certified agronomist).
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10.) Pear Tree Fertilizer Requirements
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