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Apple & Pear Production

To insure successful production of fruits, nuts, grapes, and berries it is essential that proper varieties be selected. The varieties listed on this site are well suited to our particular conditions. It is quite possible that some varieties not listed may perform well in certain locations.

Annual pruning is important to help regulate crop load and fruit size on most tree and vine varieties. Despite this, apples, apricots, nectarines, peaches, and plums often set too much fruit. Thin 1/3 to 2/3 of the fruit when it is ½ to 1 inch in diameter to obtain desirable fruit size and to prevent limb breakage. Remove excess fruit by hand pulling. Space remaining fruit 4 to 8 inches apart.

Cross pollination is required on several varieties and at least two different varieties are required in these circumstances. If no pollination comments are made, assume a single tree will be fruitful.

Apple, Fruit & Nut Research, UC Davis

  • Generally best results are obtained on North slopes and on cool bottomland. Semi-dwarf trees are preferred for early fruiting and ease of culture. M7a is a good semi-dwarf, resistant to fireblight. M9 needs staking, not good anchor so not good for windy sites.
  • Recommended varieties when planting at elevations between 300 and 1500 feet:
    • Gravenstein, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Empire, Stayman, Winesap, Sierra Beauty, Granny Smith, Anna, Ashmead’s Kernal, Enterprise, Gala, Golden Supreme, William’s Pride, and Fuji.
  • Use Golden Delicious, Fuji, flowering crab apple, or other variety that blooms at the same time as a pollinizer for other varieties; a single tree of Golden Delicious is self-fruitful. Gravenstein and Stayman’s Winesap have sterile pollen. Use  Empire or Granny Smith to pollinize Gravenstein
  • Recommended varieties when planting at elevations between 1500 and 3500 feet:
    • Gravenstein, Paula Red, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Empire, Stayman-Winesap, Red Rome Beauty, Newtown,  Pippen, and Granny Smith.
  • Use Golden Delicious as a pollinizer for all varieties, except use Empire for Gravenstein which has sterile pollen.

Pears, UC Fruit & Nut Research & Information Center

  • Bartlett sets without cross-pollination from any other variety.
  • Rootstocks:
    • Pyrus betulaefolia is the most tolerant to decline. P. ussuriensis (Asian rootstock) is more resistant to fire blight but causes quick decline if infected with MLO. P. communis (French rootstock) is tolerant to declining and resistant to Oak Root Rot Fungus. Quince can also be used as a rootstock.
  • Recommended varieties when planting at elevations between 300 and 3500 feet:
    • Anjou, Bartlett, Bosc, El Dorado, Seckel, Sure Crop, and Comice. Asian Shinseiki, Hosui, Twentieth Century, and Shinko.
      Asian pears are usually partially self-fruitful, but set 4 better with cross pollination when bloom conditions are unfavorable. Asian pears need to be thinned to no more than one fruit per blossom cluster.

Pest Management

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