Pear Tree Growth Stages

Understanding the life cycle of a pear tree will help you be a better gardener. What are its growth stages?

The first pear trees were brought from Central Asia. Pear trees are closely related to apples and are grown and handled similarly. 

Pear trees need to grow for several years before they can bear fruit. A pear tree typically enters its reproductive stage between 3 and 7 years, depending on size and variety.

A mature tree can grow to be 40 feet tall. Although various factors might impact when your pear tree produces fruit, almost all types of pear trees bear fruit around the same time of year.

Understanding a pear tree’s life cycle stages helps you better address issues and care for them.


Each ripe fruit contains up to ten smooth, black seeds with a thin endosperm coating. The hard seed coat contains the embryo, endosperm, cotyledons, and the young root and shoot. 

Pear seeds usually germinate and produce green leaves within 3 months; however, sprouts can appear as soon as 18 days after sowing. Germination occurs when the seed coat absorbs water, causing it to enlarge and split. 

The radicle, a small white tail that develops into the plant’s primary root, is the first sign of life. The radicle’s purpose is to securely root the plant in the soil and initiate water absorption. After it has absorbed water, a stem emerges, and the cotyledons begin to unfold.

The first leaves of your seedlings are the cotyledons. True leaves eventually appear after several days, resembling those of a fully developed pear tree. When your seedlings have at least four true leaves, they are ready for transplanting.

closeup picture of a budding bear


In the juvenile stage, a seedling remains in its vegetative state; typically, it takes at least four years before a pear tree starts blooming. Some can take as long as 14 years.

Young trees grow upright with dense foliage, resembling thorny plants. The bark is smooth as a seedling but becomes tougher as the tree matures. At the same time, the roots are also rapidly growing.

The leaves of pears are lustrous and dark green with lighter green veins that run down the center of the leaf and stretch out to the sides. The undersides of pear leaves are matte and lighter in color.

Mature leaves are teardrop-shaped with sharp edges and a rounded base. The leaf edges are somewhat serrated. The bark of a pear tree is grey-brown; however, it changes to a scaly texture over time.  

young pear tree freshly planted in the garden


Pear flowers emerge as tiny, oval to rectangular, tightly closed green buds on the dark brown branches of the tree. The buds open as the temperature rises in the spring, and the broad, flat, white petals uncurl. Each petal is soft and velvety, with a slightly wavy appearance.

Pear blooms are typically found in clusters of five to seven. Each flower has a pleasant, fresh scent. Bees transfer pollen between pears of different varieties to facilitate cross-pollination and promote optimum fruit set. 

Pear flowers bloom for a short time, and the little nectar they provide is unattractive to bees. However, bees remain the primary pollinators for pear flowers. More pollinators may be required for pear trees to produce fruits.

Flowers that are poorly pollinated are more likely to shed their fruit early, and those that do develop may be tiny and malformed. On the other hand, full pollination results in the production of large, symmetrical pears.

beautiful white pear flower


After successful pollination, five to eight fruits form within a whorl of leaves. You can expect a harvest from full bloom in 115 to 165 days or three to five months.

Most of the fruit comprises the base of the floral tube, the pseudocarp, and the floret receptacles. Cell division and expansion are critical processes in fruits that contribute to fruit size. During the cell expansion stage, cells absorb as much water as possible, causing the fruit to swell rapidly in size.

The mature fruit is elongated, narrow at the stem end, and wider at the opposite end. Pears are available in green, red, yellow, gold, and brown varieties.

pear fruits hanging on a pear tree


When the days become shorter, and the temperature drops, the pear tree’s growth pauses as part of its yearly cycle. The tree sheds its leaves and enters a state of dormancy or rest.

The bud initiation process begins again when the weather warms up, entering a new blooming and fruiting cycle. Pear trees usually bloom from late February to mid-April, producing fruit from mid-August to mid-October. Under optimum conditions, pear trees can live for up to 50 years.

Carley Miller
Carley Miller is a horticultural expert at Bustling Nest. She previously owned a landscaping business for 25 years and worked at a local garden center for 10 years.
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