Pear Overview

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Most recently many inter-specific hybrids have been made, combining traits to produce unique new fruit and some exciting new varieties are now under test or close to commercial release.


Pears have been widely spread and cultivated by man for over 3000 years.

Pears are divided into 2 major groups:

  • European pears are cultivated varieties of Pyrus communis and native to Central and Eastern Europe and South West Asia
  • Asian pears which are cultivated varieties of Pyrus pyrifolia, Pyrus bretschneiderii and Pyrus ussuriensis. These pears are native to Asia and also known as Asian pears, Sand pears, Nashi pears, Chinese pears, Korean pears, Japanese pears and Apple pears.


Quince rootstocks are dwarfing for pears and can be viewed under the rootstock section.

Most pears require 900-1000 hours of chill. Some low chill varieties exist. Asian pears generally require less chill.

All pears are susceptible to fireblight (Erwinia amylovera) which is favored by warm wet springs.


Pyrus communis pear varieties express different degrees of self incompatibility. Asian pears are generally readily pollinated. Pollination is an important consideration when planning a new orchard. Tree forms and vigor of pyrus varieties vary widely and are also a consideration when planning your new orchard.


McGrath Nurseries produce all their pear trees by the conservative double budding method to ensure complete compatibility between scion and rootstock in these long lived trees.

See variety sheets on this website for further information on specific varieties.

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