Pear, the common fruit with unique taste and a friendly tree


This year 2016 is the best year of the last 7 years in British Columbia, Canada for the production of orchard fruit apples, pears, peaches, apricots, plums, figs etc. in the backyard. It’s a fact that the climate is awesome, last spring was not too wet, and this summer was not too dry. Also the temperature is relatively cool. Actually from the common orchard fruits mentioned above, this year the harvest of good quality pears (Pyrus communis) are very abundant because there are less diseases and pests.

Pears belong to “pome fruits”, the members of the Rose family (Rosaceae) including apples, loquats, quinces, medlars etc. The members of this group bear medium size fruits that specifically have several small seeds at its centre encased in a tough coat. Pome fruit plants grow to average sized trees that are usually found in semi-tropical regions of the northern hemisphere.

Nutrition pears are a healthful fruit with a sweet, delicious, rich flavor. The texture is crunchy like apples and yet juicy like “stone fruits”. The other group of the Rose family are cherries, plums, apricots, peaches, nectarines etc. Stone fruit plants have a single, large, oval, hard seed, surrounded by a wood-like husk.

So, pears are a unique fruit although the scientific or Latin name Pyrus communis means just common pear fruit. Pears are among the least allergenic of all fruits. For the same reason, they are often recommended by health practitioners as a safe food for allergic persons. Pears are high in fiber, minerals and vitamins, so they are often chosen as one of the first fruits given to infants as a weaning food until the baby is eating the same foods as the rest of the family.

Moreover, one pear tree can produce 2 or more kinds of pear fruits by using the grafting method. Grafting is a propagation method that allows farmers to meld two trees into one new specimen by joining a root system of one tree, termed the rootstock, to a shoot system from another tree, termed the scion. This way the fruits can even ripen alternately at different times. This environmentally friendly “playing god” by the grower will avoid too much waste of the uneaten over-production of fruits, and the fruits are guaranteed to have the same taste as the chosen scions which bear the high quality pears. It is important when grafting to use local rootstocks with strong roots and stem, weather tolerant and disease resistant.

It has been reported that the reliable information on pear cultivation and grafting first appeared in the works of Greek and Roman writers such as Theophrastus and Cato the Elder between the fourth and third centuries B.C. Since then the progress and development of the grafting method has been tested scientifically. Pear plants are among the oldest grafting plants after grapes, olives and orange trees. Grafting is a part of food security strategy, which contributed to social stability and the decline of nomadism.

The photo above is the grafting pear tree with 2 kinds of fruits. The first group of fruits near the top of the tree are the European common pear (Pyrus communis) with fruits of the typical pear shape. The second group of fruits at the lower part of the tree are the Asian sand pear (Pyrus pyrifolia), with white spots on the outer skin of the round fruits. Both European common pear and Asian sand pear usually bear fruits in pairs, and are located at most of the end-tips of the branches. The photo can be zoomed to see details of the differences between the 2 species of pears – in one tree!

The mission of Burnaby Red Wigglers is supporting local products through environmentally friendly approaches, and profitable solutions for resources – organic waste management related to the natural way of farming. As the pear trees get older, regeneration by quality local pear seedlings is needed to continue future production.

Please visit our website at to learn how to boost your pear tree production by using the high quality worm castings or vermicompost available in your location. Contact us if you need the organic non-GMO pear seedling plants.

– Bintoro Gunadi

BRW card back

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