Pear is one of the important fruit crops of temperate regions. Its fruits are rich source of protein (0.69 g), vitamins (vitamin A 0.06 mg,vitamin B 0.03 mg) and minerals like calcium (8mg), phosphorus(15mg) and iron (0.5mg) per 100 g of pulp. Patharnakh fruits are well known for their keeping quality and ability to withstand transportation.
Climate and Soil
The sub-tropical pears which are recommended for cultivation in Punjab require 200 to 300 chilling hours. The soft pear cultivars grown in higher hills of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir require 900 to 1000 chilling hours which are not available under thesub-tropical conditions of Northern India. For this reason these aren't cultivated in these areas.Pear can be grown successfully on a variety of soils from sandy loam to clay loam provided it is deep, well drained, fertile, without the presence of hard pans of any type in the top 2 meters and doesn't have a pH value more than 8.7. The electrical conductivity should be less than 1.5 mmhos/cm, calcium carbonate less than 10% and lime concretion less than 20%. In high pH soils deficiencies of iron and zinc always pose a problem.
Punjab Nakh (2008) : It is a selection from Patharnakh. Tree spreading and vigorous. Fruit weight 155 g, ovate, light yellowish green with prominent dots. The flesh is gritty, crisp and juicy. Keeping quality good. Fruits mature in fourth week of July. The average yield is 190 kg per plant.
Patharnakh (1967) : Tree spreading and vigorous, fruit medium,round, green with prominent dots. Flesh gritty, crisp and juicy.Keeping quality good, stands transportation well. Matures in the last week of July. Average yield is 150 kg per tree.
Semi Soft Pear
Punjab Gold (2004): Tree upright and medium in vigor. Fruit large with average weight of 166 g ground color golden yellow, white fleshed. Total soluble solids 13.3 per cent with acidity 0.22 per cent.Mature fruit less gritty, mellow when ripe. Matures in end of July.Yield 80 kg per tree. Suitable for processing and table purposes.
Punjab Nectar (2004) : Tree upright and medium in vigor,precocious, fruit medium to large, ground color yellow green, white fleshed, average fruit weight 138 g. Total soluble solids 13.6 per cent,acidity 0.21 per cent, mature fruits less gritty, mellow when ripe and very juicy. Fruit matures in fourth week of July. The average yield is 80 kg per tree. Suitable for table and processing purposes.
Punjab Beauty (1999) : The trees are upright, medium in vigor and regular in bearing. The fruit is medium,yellow with red blush.The flesh is white and more juicy and sweet than LeConte and Baggugosha. Fruits mature in third week of July. The average yield is 80 kg per plant.
Baggugosha (1967) : Tree upright and vigorous, fruit greenish yellow, stem end tapering. Flesh white or cream-colored, sweet,somewhat gritty. Matures in the first week of August and stands transportation well. Average yield is 60 kg per tree.
Nijisseiki (2010) : Tree spreading, medium in vigor, leaf color green, fruit size medium, ground color golden brown, flesh whitish.whitish 12.9%, acidity 0.21%, mature fruits very soft, fruit firmness(11.17 lb f), very juicy (74.6% juice), matures in end June to first week of July, fruit ripen on tree, yields 80.2 Kg per tree. Suitable for processing like RTS, nectar and squash. Fruits have good storage potential and can be stored for 4 weeks at 0-10 C and 90-95% RH.
Punjab Soft (2007) : Tree upright, spreading and medium in vigor. The fruit is medium, ground color yellow green. The flesh is white and mature fruit is very soft and very juicy. Total soluble solid s11.3 per cent with acidity 0.135 per cent. Matures in first week of July. The average yield is 85 kg per plant. It is suitable for processing.
Pear can be propagated on Kainth (Pyrus pashia) rootstock. It reduces precocity and does not produce rootsuckers.
Collection of Kainth (Pyrus pashia) Seed : Fully mature fruits of Kainth are collected from end of September to first week of October.Seeds extracted from the softened fruits are stratified for promoting germination during December by placing them in alternate layers of moist sand in wooden boxes for a period of 30 days. The stratified seeds are sown in nursery beds in January. The seeds start germinating within 10 days. One month old seedlings are planted in nursery at a distance of 10x60 cm. These seedlings become graft able in January next year.
Raising of Kainth rootstock without stratification : The seeds extracted from mature fruits in last week of September or first week of October can be sown directly. Freshly extracted seeds should be placed in moist sand in wooden boxes for germination. The seeds germinate in 10-12 days. These seedlings are planted in the field in lines at 10 cm apart leaving 60 cm space after every four lines at 2 to 4 leaves stage. These seedlings become buddable in May-Juneor can be grafted in December-January.
Budding/Grafting : The pear is T-budded or tongue grafted on Kainth seedling. Tongue grafting is done in December January and T-budding in May-June.
The planting of pears is done in winter while plants are still dormant up to middle of February. Planting may preferably be completed within January. Generally one year old plants are used but 2 to 3 years old nursery trained plants can also be planted.
The pear cv. Patharnakh can be planted at 8 m x 4 m distance and the trees are trained by bending of main scaffolds and two secondaries. This also helps in reducing juvenility by two years.
Training and Pruning
Training at planting time : To develop a strong scaffold system pear trees should be trained according to modified leader system.The plants should be headed back at a height of 90 cm at the time of planting. The buds start sprouting in February-March. No branch should be allowed to develop up to the height of 45 cm from the ground level.
Training in Second Year : The top most shoot in the center is kept as the leader but it is cut back where immature portion starts.Three to five laterals which are properly spaced at a distance of 15 to 20 cm from each other in different directions should be selected.It is advantageous if these laterals are bent downward by tying with rope or thick thread to the ground. The tying of these laterals will encourage the development of secondaries.
Training in Third year : The laterals left at the end of second season’s growth should be headed back to encourage the sprouting of buds to develop tertiary branches.
Training in Fourth and Fifth year : The unwanted secondary/tertiary branches should be removed. The leader should be cut back to a well placed, out growing lateral.
Pruning : The pear trees bear on spurs which remain productive for about 8 years. Therefore, pear trees do not need pruning every year. In case of old and bearing trees, pruning of dead wood and old non-bearing spurs should be done during January. Thinning out and heading back of laterals may also be done to encourage the formation of more fruiting spurs.The Patharnakh pear trees should be pruned at the height of 2.5 m for better quality and fruit production. For this closer spacing of 4mx4m is recommended. Bordeaux paste should be applied after pruning of plants.
Rejuvenation of Old Pear Orchards
Pear trees tend to become less productive at an age of about 20 years. Production on such trees can be restored by rejuvenating them. It can be achieved by heading back 3 to 4 main scaffolds to about 15 cm during December-January. The rest scaffolds should be completely removed. Paint the cut ends with Bordeaux paint.paint. Mainly sprouts shall emerge on these stubs in March. In May, retain only one to two out going-shoots on each stub with a total of 6 to 8 shoots per tree. Rejuvenated trees start fruiting in third year and bear commercial crop in the fifth year.
Spray Hexuron 80 WP (diuron) @ 1.6 kg/acre as pre-emergence(first-fortnight of March) after thorough ploughing so as to remove the established growing weeds/plant debris. Glycel 41 SL (glyphosate)at 1.2 liters/acre or gramoxone 24 WSC (paraquat) 1.2 liters/acre should be sprayed as post-emergence when the weeds are growing actively and have attained a height of 15 to 20 cm . Mix the herbicide sin 200 liters of water which is enough to give thorough coverage to the weeds in one acre. In case there is emergence of weeds during/after rainy season, another spray of glycel/gramoxone at the same rate may be done. Spray Glycel and gramoxone during calm day soas to avoid spray drift to the foliage of the fruit tree.
Manures and Fertilizers
Age of tree Farm yard Dose per tree* (g)(years) manure (kg) Urea Superphosphate Muriate of Potash1-3 10-20 100-300 200-600 150-4504-6 25-35 400-600 800-1200 600-9007-9 40-50 700-900 1400-1800 1050-135010 and above 50 1000 2000 1500* These nutrients can also be supplied from other fertilize ersavailable in the market. Apply supplemental dose of Urea @500g to the full grown plants of Punjab Beauty in the month of September in addition to recommended fertilizer doses to get higher yield and fruit size.
Note: All the farmyard manure, super phosphate and muriate of potash should be added in December. Half of urea should be added in early February before flowering and the other half in April after the fruit set.
Zinc deficiency : It appears on younger leaves as difuseinterveinal chlorosis, reduction in leaf size and tendency of the leaf edges to curl upward. To correct its deficiency, spray the plants with 3 kg zinc sulphate + 1.5 kg unslaked lime in 500 litres of water.
Iron deficiency : Iron deficiency appears on apical leaves which develop characteristic symptoms of dark green veins on a pale green background. Its deficiency may be corrected by spraying 0.3 percent ferrous sulphate (300g in 100 liters of water).
Pear trees need frequent irrigation after transplanting. The interval of irrigation may be 5 to 7 days during summer months and 15 days in August and September. No irrigation should be given in the month of January. Bearing trees should be irrigated through flood method during summer months at an interval of 5 to 7 days so that fruit size may be increased.
Inter crops like moong and mash can be grown during kharif while wheat and toria, peas, gram and senji may be grown during rabi season in young and rejuvenated pear orchards to get some in come during the non-bearing period. Even in bearing orchards crops like peas, grams, senji can be grown during rabi while moong, mash and sunflower during kharif. Additional dose of fertilizers should be given for inter crops. Berseem should not be grown as inter crop in pear because of its higher demand for irrigation during winter when the pear plants are in dormant condition and do not require any irrigation.
Pear tree tend to overbear, resulting in smaller fruits. To obviate this, one fruit per cluster may be retained after thinning. This operation should be performed soon after the occurrence of the natural fruit drop in the middle of April.To improve the fruit size and increase the yield in Pathernakhpear, three foliar sprays of potassium Nitrate@ 1.5% (15 g per liter of water) at 15,30 and 45 days after full bloom should be applied.
Fruit Maturity and Harvesting
Harvesting of fruits should be done at proper stage of maturity.The fruits of Patharnakh mature 145 days after fruit set whereas fruits of Baggugosha and Punjab Beauty take 135 days and Punjab Nectar and Punjab Gold take 140 days to reach maturity. The fruits should be picked by giving an upward twist to the fruit so that the spurs are not damaged.
Post-harvest Management and Processing
Handling : The fruit should be harvested at proper maturity. The bruised and damaged fruits should be sorted-out and only graded and healthy fruits be packed in Corrugated Fiber Board (CFB) cartons for ripening, storage and marketing.
Ripening : For improving ripening and eating quality of pear varieties, Punjab Beauty fruits should be chilled at 0'C and ripened at 20'C for 3 days, while that of Patharnakh fruits should be chilled for 3 days at 0'C and ripen at 20'C for 4 days.For proper ripening and improving quality of pear, fruits should be treated with 1000 ppm Ethephon for three to four minutes or exposed to 100 ppm ethylene gas for 24 hrs and stored at 20'C. The Patharnakh fruits would be ready in 8 days while Punjab Beauty takes 4 days to ripen.
Storage : Fruits of Punjab Beauty can be stored at 0-1'C with RH of 90-95% for 60 days. These fruits have post-storage shelf life of1-2 days at room temperature and 4 days in refrigerator. However,Patharnakh fruits can be stored at 0-1'C with RH of 90-95% for 60 days. These fruits have post-storage shelf life of 2 days at room temperature and 4-6 days in refrigerator.Fruits of Punjab Soft can be stored at 0-1'C with RH of 90-95%for 4 weeks. Similarly, the fruits of Punjab Nakh can be cold stored for 60 days at 0-10C with RH of 90-95%.55 56Pests and symptoms of attack Control measures. Hairy- caterpillar (Euproctis sp.)are sporadic pests. Females lay eggs in clusters on ventral surface of leaves covered with yellow hair. On hatching,the young caterpillars feed gregariously on leaf lamina, skeletonzingthe same completely. Later, the caterpillars segregate and gnaw the leaves. In case of severe infestation,the entire tree may be defoliated.Young caterpillars have whitish hair,while full grown caterpillars have redhead, darkish brown body with white hair on the head and a tuft of long hair at anal end. Adults are yellow moths with pale lines on forewings.2.Spider mites (Eutetranychusorientalis and Tetranychus urticae)attack during April-June. Initially yellowish-white specks appear on the leaves followed by leaf scorching and premature leaf fall. Infested leaves gather dust.3. Leaf-Hoppers. Sometimes cause serious damage to the plants by sucking the cell- sap from the leaves and tender fruits.Collect and destroy the egg masses and the gregariously feeding young caterpillars.Frequent irrigation during April-June. Removal of castor and bhang, as they act as alternate sources of mites. Spray of 1000 mlFosmite 30 EC (ethion) or750 ml Fenazaquin 10 ECin 500 liters of water peracre as soon as mite population appears on under side of leaves. Repeat the spray if needed.Spray 1 kg Hexavin 50 WP(carbaryl) or 800 ml Rogor30 EC (dimethoate) in 500 liters of water.
Processing : For value addition, the fruits of Punjab Nactor,Punjab Soft and Punjab Gold are suitable for the preparation of Ready to Serve (RTS), Nectar and Shelf Stable Squash products.