Pyrus communis

2019 was the first year that my little dwarf pear tree produced fruit. I bought it as a bare-root maiden three years earlier and adore the bright white blossom early in the spring but I made the mistake of planting it in quite a frosty location.  Pears flower very early in the season so are particularly susceptible to having their blossoms ruined by cold nights.  

Each year since I have watched a small number of fruits develop and swell, only to come down to the plot and find they’d vanished or had a large bite taken out of them.  It led to my purchasing of a wildlife camera and the discovery of a muntjac visitor.  I think I can share!

Pears – they aren’t everyone’s favourite because they are gritty in texture. They do well for being left to further ripen off the tree and I adore them in chutneys especially with a ploughman’s lunch. They do beautifully with a salty meat like a ham hock or confit duck leg.  

Dessert varieties can be beautiful poached in wine and spices, served with ice cream

Pruning and training are much the same as for apples.  In fact, if you know how to cope with apples then you can grow most top fruit.

Most pears are grafted onto a quince rootstock, reducing their vigour but they do need pruning in the summer to promote fruit development and any shape pruning is done in winter.