Growing a Pear Tree
We have a large pear tree which has been growing since long before we moved here, nearly 40 years ago, but it has never produced any edible fruit. I believe it may be a Winter Cole - any suggestions to remedy this would be much appreciated!
We are amazed by your incredible patience waiting forty years for your pear tree to commence cropping. Given reasonable conditions, they should start producing decent amounts of fruit 4-5 years after planting. Since this is not the case, we assume there is a serious problem with the pollination of your pear tree. Unfortunately, pears have specific pollination requirements i.e. they require a particular pear variety as a pollinator, not simply another pear tree. The recommended pollinator for Winter Cole is Williams Bon Chretien.
Because of the age and no doubt, the size of your pear tree, it may be possible to graft some wood from a Williams Bon Chretien onto your existing pear tree. Check with your local garden centre to see if they can recommend someone to perform this task, otherwise plant a new Williams Bon Chretien pear in proximity to your Winter Cole.