Answer: What you describe is called alternate bearing and is common with fruit trees. When it develops lots of fruits one year it tends to rest the next year, followed by lots of fruit. You can help stop this if you thin the fruit when the crop is large. This way the tree will be able to reserve some of its energy and will set an equal amount of fruit each year. The black leaves are another, different, concern. There is a disease called fire blight that causes the leaves to turn black and the tree to die. Some pear cultivars are more susceptible to this than others. You can try trimming back some of the gnarled and bad looking braches then fertilize your tree to push out new growth. Planting pumpkins near your tree should not be harmful to the tree or to the pumpkins. Hope this information helps.
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