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Pear Trees

Pyrus communis, commonly referred to as the common pear, is a true southern staple and every southern orchard must have a pear tree in order to be considered complete. The common pears are in the Rosaceae family, the same family as roses & quince trees. Most fruits from the pear tree are enjoyed fresh, however, they are also used for baking, canning, and drying. Pears are an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C. Pear trees require a moist soil with partial sunlight and are more of an upright growing tree.

Pear trees benefit greatly from aggressive pruning to establish secondary growth. Seedling pears can grow up to 40 feet tall at maturity. Bartlett pear trees are the most common pear in the world, accounting for about 3/4 of the worlds production or acreage. The wood from pear trees is commonly used in carpentry for use in making cabinets and knife handles, among other uses. Pear trees bloom with white to whitish-pink flowers that are about an inch wide that ripen into mature fruits typically in mid-summer or early fall.

Pear trees are of medium size typically reaching 15-30 feet tall and 10-20 feet wide. Most varieties require a partner for cross-pollination however some do not. Willis Orchard Company offers a fine selection of pear trees that will produce delicious fruits for your home orchard from July to October. Standard pears ripen best off the tree, so pick them while firm and store in a paper bag in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks to complete ripening. In comparison, most Asian pears can be eaten fresh off the tree!

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Standard Select Pear Trees

Southern Select Pear Trees

Flowering Pear Trees

Pear Trees

Pears are affected by several different diseases such as scab, black rot, bitter rot, leaf spot, and fire blight but the two most common of these diseases are fire blight & leaf spot. Fire blight usually attacks during bloom but can present itself during the growth stage as well. It typically causes blooms to wither & quickly blacken and moves down the plant from the point of infection causing bark to darken & occasionally leak a sap from the infected area. You can begin spraying for fire blight at bloom and continue throughout the summer. If your tree becomes infected, prune off the affected areas and destroy the limbs you removed. Make your cuts 6-8 inches below the dead tissue and be sure to sterilize your pruning shears after each cut.

Pears are of the oldest cultivated fruits in the world dating back over 5,000 years to Chinese farmers. The fruit of legend talked about by Homer in the Odyssey as the "gift of the gods." Pears are not only tasty enough to rave over, but are attractive enough to be the still-life subject of many of the worlds most famous artists. The pear tree has made its long journey through time from Asia to Europe and finally to America where it has been tweaked to perfection.

Willis Orchard Company offers many varieties of grafted pear for your home orchard, including: 3-in-1, 4-in-1, Bartlett, Beurre D'anjou, Bosc, Moonglow, Comice, Fan-Stil, Hood, Improved Kieffer, Orient, Perdue, Pineapple, & Sugar. We also carry the following flowering pear trees: Aristocrat, Bradford, and Cleveland Select.