Properly pruned peartrees produce pears prolifically.

Ancestral species of modern pears grow wild from western Europe and northern Africa to eastern Asia. Long before they were domesticated and developed in China about three thousand years ago, their fruit was eaten by indigenous people. Farther west, dozens of cultivars were developed and popularized in ancient Roman societies. There are now more than three thousand cultivars.

Most pears that are popular in America are descendants of European pear, Pyrus communis. Asian pears, which are mostly descendants of Pyrus X bretschneideri and Pyrus pyrifolia, became a fad in the 1980s, and are still somewhat popular, particularly in California. Asian pears are generally rounder and firmer than the familiar ‘pear shaped’ European pears that soften as they ripen.

There are too many cultivars of pear for all to conform to similar characteristics. All that are grown for fruit are deciduous, and almost all have potential to exhibit remarkable foliar color in autumn. Abundant clusters of small white flowers bloom in spring. Floral fragrance of some cultivars might be unappealing. Semi-dwarf trees can get more than fifteen feet tall, so should be pruned lower.

Pears can be shades of yellow, green, red or brown, and might be blushed or russeted. They can be canned, dried, juiced, or eaten fresh.

6 thoughts on “Pear

  1. Love pears. Better than peaches, not as good as apricots or plums. There is a pear liqueur called kruskovac that Judy and I love. We used to have it at one of our favorite restaurants, a Serbian place called the Yugo Inn. After the collapse of Yugoslavia, the restaurant became Rada’s Place, but it didn’t last long under the new name, which just shows the practical value of a good pun.

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    1. There are more varieties of pears that are happier there than here. Minimal chill limits what produces well for us, even in the Santa Cruz Mountins. Of course, apricots and plums, as well as peaches, are very happy in the Santa Clara Valley.

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