When you buy a sapling pear tree from a nursery or online catalog, you're gambling that the tree will do well in your local environment. Growers sell trees that do well in the general climate in which you live, but another way to guarantee a tree will do well is to propagate one that's already in your neighborhood. Pear tree cuttings will root easily with minimal work, transforming into an entire collection of baby pear trees in just a matter of months.
Clip hardwood cuttings from one-year-old branches early in the spring before any buds bloom. Clean hedge clippers or other sharp scissors with alcohol pads. Clip 12-inch long pieces of branches from different parts of the tree.
Clean a sharp knife with an alcohol pad. Mark the end of each cutting with the knife to indicate which end grew closest to the trunk. Mark the cutting by scraping off a piece of bark near the end. You must plant the cuttings right side up, or they won't root and grow. Marking the correct end to plant will ensure you get the right end in the soil.
Fill a large plastic bag halfway with vermiculite and moisten it with water. Dust the marked ends of the cuttings with rooting hormone powder. Place the cuttings, marked ends down, into the bag. Pull the opening of the bag close around the bundle of branches and secure it with a rubber band. Store this bag in the vegetable cooler drawer in your refrigerator for four weeks. A callus will form over the bottom end during this time.
Dig a 6-inch hole in your garden and fill it with 4 inches of potting soil. Place a cutting in the hole, callus end down. Fill the rest of the hole with potting soil, firming the soil around the branch to hold it in place. Repeat this procedure with the rest of the cuttings.
Water the planted cuttings well and surround them with 1/2 inch of lawn cuttings. Keep the soil moist while the plants root by giving them 1 inch of water per week.
Watch for leaf growth to start in a few weeks. Once it starts, give the plants 10-10-10 water-soluble fertilizer each week instead of clear water.
Transplant the sapling trees after one year into their permanent homes.