This compact, deciduous pear tree has oval leaves and produces scented white flowers in spring. In autumn you will be able to harvest its sweet dessert fruits. 'Conference' has been awarded the Award of Garden Merit given by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), which helps gardeners make informed choices about plants.
- Flower Colour: white in spring
- Foliage Colour: green in spring and summer
- Approx. Growth Height: 3-4m
- Rootstock: Quince A - Semi-Dwarfing
- Comes in a: 8L polypot (not a rigid pot)
- Approx. Height on Arrival: 150-170cm
- Flowering Period: spring
- Harvesting Period: autumn
- Season of Use: December-March
- Growing Habit: bushy
- Uses: eating fresh
- Self pollinating: yes - (see 'Pollination' section below)
- Hardiness: hardy - average winter
- Exposure: sheltered
- Rate of Growth: ultimate height in 5-10 years
- Scented: yes
- Wildlife friendly - attracts bees and other pollinating insects
Requirements Light Requirements: full sun Soil Requirements: neutral, clay, loam, sand Moisture: well-drained, moist but well-drained
Caring and Maintenance
Water young trees regularly until roots are well established. Regular pruning required. Apply some fertilizer in spring in order to promote healthy growth and a good crop. Optionally, mulch in spring. Check tree ties regularly and loosen any if necessary to avoid rubbing of the stems.
Planting Planting Distance: 3-4.5m (10-15ft)
Suited to almost all well-drained and moist but well-drained soils. Plant in a sheltered location in full sun.
Before planting your tree, clean up all wandering weeds and keep a clean ring around the tree base. Water well during the first year until well established. Autumn is the best season for planting fruiting trees, as the soil moisture and heat allow easier and faster root establishment and regeneration of damaged root systems.
Pollination Pollination Group: 3 (self pollinating)
Fruit trees will only produce fruit if their flowers have been pollinated. This is usually done by flying insects such as honey bees, bumblebees, flies, wasps etc. This tree is self-pollinating; it produces compatible flowers that can pollinate each other. However, even self-fertile varieties tend to crop better when another cultivar is planted nearby for pollination. Although this is not necessary to produce fruit, it will offer improved crops. The two trees will have to be near each other for the pollination process to be successful. The general consensus is that the two trees should be within 18m (55ft) of each other. To make things a bit easier, fruit trees are categorised into different pollination groups. Just remember that the fruit must be of the same species but of a different variety; only a pear tree can pollinate another pear tree. However, if you buy two 'Conference' trees they will not offer each other any of the additional benefits of cross pollination.
These pollination groups are numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6, according to flowering time. Best results will be obtained if the tree is planted near another pear tree of the same group, or from a group on either side (so an ideal pollination partner for group 3 would be one in group 2,3 or 4). The major cause of poor pollination is bad weather in blossom time, limiting the activity of insects.
These fruits taste best when freshly picked from their branches. They please even the most sophisticated of palates, and can be made into jams and preserves to bring great summer memories on autumn or winter days. Fruit plants are a valuable addition to any garden, bearing in mind that they not only provide fruits, but also make a bold statement in garden arrangements by producing clouds of pink and white flowers, which at the slightest breeze fall like raindrops.
Fruit Tree Rootstocks
Fruit trees are generally budded or grafted onto a rootstock by the nursery, this means the roots of the tree are a different plant to the trunk, branches and fruit. Effectively sticking two plants together, one that has good roots and one that has good fruit, ensures that you get what you pay for. Plants raised from seed will vary from the parent plants and there will be a wide variation in the size or shape of a tree and the quality and quantity of fruit it produces. Another result of budding and grafting a variety onto selected rootstocks is the ability to control the size of the tree to a certain degree. However, the size that a fruit tree ultimately grows to is dependent on a number of factors:
- The fruit variety ( i.e. Apple Braeburn)
- How itís pruned
- Soil type
- Its rootstock
Some varieties of tree are naturally more vigorous than others, so this will affect how much they grow each year. For instance a Bramley Apple seedling will naturally grow bigger than a Coxís Orange Pippin Apple seedling. The correct pruning will also help to control the size of tree, as well as encouraging it to produce flower buds from which fruit develop.
This is an example of our polypot - note the fruit/ornamental trees we stock will vary in appearance according to species and season.