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Planting Apples and Pears in Southeast Georgia

It is time to start planting fruit trees in Southeast Georgia. Most people would think about planting fruit trees in the springtime, but the best time to plant is starting in late fall when the trees go dormant till around the middle of February. A tree planted in December has more time to establish feeder roots. Fruit trees need to be planted in a location with well-drained soil that receives 8-10 hours of direct sunlight per day. Dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball and deep enough to accommodate the full length of the roots without bending them. Make sure to spread the roots out and don’t wrap them around the inside of the hole. Two things to consider before planting your fruit tree is to choose an appropriate variety for the planting area and if the fruit tree requires a pollinator.

Lots of fruit trees require a certain number of chilling hours to produce fruit so it is very important to pick varieties that are suited for your area. If you get a variety that doesn’t get enough chilling hours it will not make fruit or get one with too few hours and it will break bud too early and the buds will be damaged by cold weather. You can’t take an apple variety like Red Delicious or a Gala and expect them to perform well in southeast Georgia.  Apples Varieties like Anna and Dorestt Golden are more suited for Southeast Georgia.

The next thing is to have an appropriate pollinator. Some fruit trees are self-fruitful like, peaches and some citrus, meaning they don’t require a pollinator tree, but apples and most pears require a pollinator tree to produce fruit. When choosing a pollinator for apples and pears you need to pair up trees with similar pollination codes and bloom times. You can’t pair an early season variety with a late season because they will bloom at different times and won’t cross pollinate.

Pear Tree Varieties – Evans County

Most Pears needs to be paired with another tree for a pollinator to produce fruit.

                             Climate Zone        Pollination Code                     

  1. Orient – 1,2,3,4,5               B, C – Partially Self Fertile, Pairs with Warren or Spalding

Description – An excellent pear for most of the state. Resistant to blight. Flesh white; a good keeper. Very large fruit. Does better in Middle and North Georgia than in Southeast and Southwest.

  • Warren – 3,4,5                    B, C – Pairs with Spalding or Orient

Description – Very high-quality fruit. Resistant to blight.

  • Flordahome – 4,5                A – Pairs with other type A Baldwin, Hood, Spalding

Description – New release from Florida. Good quality. Blooms early

  • Baldwin – 4,5                        A – Partially self-fertile. Pairs with other Type A Flordahome,       Hood, and Spalding

Description – An excellent pear for the southern half of the state. Resistant to blight

  • Hood – 4,5                             A – Pairs with other Type A Flordahome, Spalding, Baldwin

Description – Good quality but subject to internal breakdown if allowed to become fully ripe. Blooms early.

  • Spalding – 3, 4                      A, B – Partially self-fertile. Pairs with all the varieties listed above

Description – High quality fruit that ripens early. Subject to blight

Apple Tree Varieties – You need at least one of each variety so they can pollinate.

  1. Anna – 5                                 A – Pairs with Dorsett Golden

Description -Excellent shaped fruit with a blush of red. Ripens mid-June to early July. Spur-type.

  • Dorsett Golden – 5               A – Pairs with Anna 

Description – Yellow apple of good quality. Ripens mid-June to early July. Spur-type.

UGA Home Garden Pears Publication

UGA Home Garden Apples Publication