Intensive pear production systems use more than 1,000 trees/ha. They aim for early returns on capital and consistent high yields of good quality fruit from lower labour costs.

The classification of what constitutes a high density orchard varies between production regions. For the purpose of this site densities are defined as follows:

Low density = <1,000 trees/ha

Moderate density = 1,000-2,500 trees/ha

High density = 2,500-4,000 trees/ha

Very high density = 5,000-8,000 trees/ha

Ultra high density = > 8,000 trees/ha

Blush pears Blush Pears

Intensive pear orchards can offer better production efficiency through:

  • Earlier bearing and therefore quicker returns on investment;
  • Improved fruit quality – up to variety-specific maximum densities where crop loads are managed;
  • Better labour efficiencies once established (e.g. more efficient harvest and pruning/training).

When thinking of establishing intensive pear orchard, growers need to consider:

Addition resources:

Nitrogen application in pear orchards. Fact sheet: discusses how to assess nitrogen status, calculate nitrogen requirements, fertiliser options and timing and method of applications.

Evaporative cooling in apple orchards - used to prevent sun damage of the fruit by applying overhead watering and lowering fruit surface temperature.

Understanding mites in tree crops - presentation by David Williams (Principal Research Scientist - Invertebrate Sciences) at Agriculture Victoria, Tatura

Video: Understanding mites in deciduous tree fruit orchards, lecture by David Williams (32 min, 43 sec)

Acknowledgements:

Lexie McClymont (DEDJTR), Angie Grills (DEDJTR), Mark Hankin (APAL), Jenny Treeby (DEDJTR), Sophie Clayton (APAL), Ian Goodwin (DEDEJTR) and Sue Richards (DEDJTR).

This resource was compiled as part of the Profitable Pears project, funded by Apple and Pear Association Limited (APAL), Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) and Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources  (DEDJTR) Victoria. First compiled in 2009, it was extended and updated in 2014. The information contained in this resource is for general reference only. Growers should seek local technical advice before deciding on changes to production and postharvest practices.

This project, AP12002 Profitable Pears: Maximising productivity and quality of new pear varieties, is funded by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources with co-investment from Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the apple and pear levy and funds from the Australian Government