Pears truly are a wonderful fruit, and anyone who is lucky enough to receive a pear tree gift will find it is an asset to the garden - a little bit of late summer joy. August is the perfect time of year to send a pear tree as this is the start of the harvesting season for pears. That's why this lovely fruit tree just has to be our Gift of the Month for August!
Every pear tree we send out as a gift has been carefully grown on our nursery until it is around 2 years old. Although your tree may not arrive with fruits on it, by its fourth year it should be fruiting. Send a pear tree as a gift for a birthday, christening or anniversary, and every year at a similar time as the special occasion, the recipient will get a proper treat - pears ready for the picking!
Human use of pears as a food source goes back a long way, to prehistoric times in fact, when bitter little wild pears were foraged and eaten. The history of the cultivated pear tree is also a long one, as we have been growing and farming pears since antiquity. Amazing as it sounds, we actually have quite accurate and reliable records from both Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome about the cultivation and grafting of pears in farming!
It is thought that the pear was introduced to Great Britain by the Romans when they invaded, although they are not mentioned in any records until the Doomsday book of 1086. Since then, pears have continuously been grown in the UK, and have become a quintessentially British fruit.
Cook and Eat
Managing to consume a pear at the optimum time of maturity and ripeness is a difficult thing. Eat it too early and it is hard and tasteless. Too late and it is mushy and brown at the centre. They are much less forgiving than other hard fruits such as apples as they ripen from the inside out, so the only indication that the pear you have been lovingly ripening in the fruit bowl is ready to eat is a slight softening around the stem.
But stick at it! A perfectly ripe pear is a beautiful thing, and once you have eaten one, you will be on the hunt for another!
Pears are also brilliant cooked, they can be baked into cakes, taste fantastic with frangipane in a tart and can be poached with sweet wine and spices. They can also be used to make pear cider, known as perry. Find some delicious pear recipes here.
Care Hints and Tips
Once you pear tree is established, it will be pretty hardy tree that needs very little care. The main thing is to ensure they have plenty of water through summer, as pears are around 84% water.
Pruning your pear tree in winter each year will help to promote better cropping. Start by removing any branches that look weak, damaged, dead or dying. Then prune any new growth on the the main branches by a third, then remove any larger shoots growing towards the centre of the tree.
If you fancy growing pear trees, but don't have a huge garden, you should have a look at our dwarf garden gem pear tree gift. This little gem can be grown in a pot and won't get taller than about 2m/6.5 ft, but the pears will be full sized and delicious! Plus it is completely self fertile, so doesn't require a pollination partner to set fruit.