Pears are an heirloom fruit that decorated the frescoes of Pompeii and Europe pre-AD79. Unlike most other fruit, European pears develop the best flavour when they have been picked slightly unripe.
One of the most beautiful landscape trees in spring, their wood is also valued for furniture making. Pears grow in a wide range of soils, preferring acid conditions to alkaline and a pH of 6.5. They tolerate some waterlogging, but dislike drought and require 600 hours of chilling. Prune as you would apples. All pears benefit from cross-pollination from a different variety of pear.