Fact Sheet: Pears

Image credit: Leonora (Ellie) Enking www.flickr.com/photos/33037982@N04/
Image credit: Leonora (Ellie) Enking www.flickr.com/photos/33037982@N04/

Common Name: Pear, European & Japanese (Nashi)

Botanical name: Pyrus communis, Pyrus pyrifolia


Deciduous long-lived large tree, ornamental glossy green foliage and extremely hardy.


Native to Asia and eastern Europe where cultivation has been recorded at least far back as 1000 BC with Homer declaring the pear to be ‘the fruit of the gods’. The buttery soft flesh of the modern European pear we eat today descends from the orchardists of 18th century France and Belgium.


Pears are vigorous and easy to train, making excellent espalier, open vase, pyramidal or any tree shape you desire.


  • Vigorous vertical growth removed/tied down to promote fruiting spur development
  • Warm summers
  • To be grafted onto other pear trees

Doesn’t like 

  • Bruising
  • Being thirsty in spring and summer

Flowers in

Early to middle Spring

Fruits in

February – May



Bare rooted in winter.


‘Williams’ pear is self-fertile but most other varieties require a compatible cultivar to cross-pollinate. The modern nashi will self-pollinate, but performs better in the presence of another.


Winter and summer, removing and shortening of vigorous vertical growth.

Disease and pest management

Codling moth. Pear and cherry slug, possums and to a lesser extent, birds.


During flowering and fruit set and as fruit ripen.


Autumn and spring.


European pears should be picked mature but still hard. They store well in cool temperature. Nashi pears should be picked when ripe.

pear table