The Q&A Archives: flowering pear

Question: i have a Bradford flowering pear tree which is about 3yrs. old. It seems healthy, but has never bloomed. We live in Vt. and it gets plenty of sun and water, any help?

Answer: Based on your description it sounds like the tree is doing reasonably well. According to your zip code, you are gardening in USDA winter hardiness zone 5A, the coldest part of zone 5. Depending on your microclimate, it may be as cold as zone 4. The Pyrus calleryana 'Bradford' is considered hardy to zone 5. So it is possible that winter cold is damaging the flower buds and preventing the tree from blooming.

If your neighbors have trees that bloom reliably, then it may be a matter of maturity. The trees do bloom more heavily once they are well established and growing vigorously.

You can check for flower buds in the fall, assuming the tree is healthy and growing well you should see them on the tree then. If there are no buds, you might check with your local county extension and see if you need to fertilize, they should be able to help you run soil tests and then you would fertilize based on the test results.

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