The Flowers on My Pear Tree Are Turning Brown & Falling Off

Updated February 21, 2017

Both Asian and European pear trees produce beautiful green foliage and sweet blooms from spring into summer. European pears, like Bartlett and Seckel, move on from blooming to bear fruit, but only if they get the right care. Pear trees that get hit by frost, don't get enough water or don't have the right soil may lose their blooms instead. If your pear tree's blooms are browning and dying, take some steps to increase your care and save the tree's fruit harvest.

Grow pear trees in the right zones. These are hardy trees, but will only survive outside down to U.S. Department of Agriculture growing zone 5. Winters in colder areas will kill outdoor pear trees.

Follow a pear tree's timeline, and check all the flowers. Pears begin to bear fruit at 2 to 3 years old, but may bloom prior to full fruiting maturity. If the pear tree blooms, but isn't old enough to bear fruit, the blooms will naturally brown and fall off at the end of the bloom.

Check to see whether all of the blooms are browning and dying; if only some of the blooms are dying, these may be the blooms that didn't pollinate. Unpollinated blooms will die and fall off, while pollinated flowers become fruit.

Protect pear trees in late winter and early spring. The trees may bloom before the last frost, then lose their blooms in that frost. Cover the trees every night with blankets or sheets to protect them from frost, then remove the coverings during the day. Discontinue this practice when temperatures warm to 60F.

Mix organic compost and 10-10-10 fertiliser into the top 3 inches of soil around the pear tree to increase drainage and nutrition. The tree may be losing its leaves due to lack thereof. Take this step only after the last frost has passed, as it will encourage new growth on the tree.

Water pear trees with at least 2 inches of water every week. Lack of water will restrict the tree's ability to bloom, maintain the bloom and eventually bear fruit.


Pear trees are self-infertile, and cannot pollinate by themselves. If you want a fruit harvest, you must plant at least two pear trees. If you have only one tree, the blooms are unfertilised and falling off for that reason.

Things You'll Need

  • Organic compost
  • Fertiliser
  • Garden fork/hand fork
  • Sheets/blankets
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