Pyrus communis 'Moonglow'
Common Name: dwarf pear
Type: Fruit
Family: Rosaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 8.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 8.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: High
Suggested Use: Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Attracts: Birds
Fruit: Showy, Edible
Tolerate: Clay Soil

Culture

Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. Prefers sandy or clay loams, but is adaptable to a wide range of soils and soil conditions. Site in a location where periodic chemical spraying will not pose problems to adjacent areas. Needs another variety for cross-pollination.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Pears, like apples, are pome fruits. Pears are grafted onto rootstocks which, inter alia, control the size of the tree. This cultivar is available as grafted to a standard rootstock (15-20' tall) or as grafted to dwarfing rootstocks which produce smaller trees (8-12' tall). The 'Moonglow' tree growing at the Kemper Center is grafted to a dwarf rootstock which limits growth to 8-10' tall. Dwarf trees bear standard-size fruit but have the advantages of fitting into smaller spaces and of being more manageable (e.g., easier to spray, prune and harvest). Creamy white flowers in dense corymbs appear in profusion in early spring. Flowers give way to Bartlett-type, yellow pears with a red blush which ripen in mid-August (USDA Zone 5).

Problems

Pears are generally difficult to grow in Missouri. Only cultivars with good fireblight resistance should be attempted. 'Moonglow' is resistant to fireblight. Scab can also be a problem. Potential insect problems include codling moths, borers, aphids, scale, leaf rollers and mites. Cold temperature injury to flower buds and flowers from early spring frosts is not uncommon.

Garden Uses

Grown primarily for the fruit crop, but early spring bloom has good ornamental value. This dwarf pear is ideal for landscapes with space limitations.