Pear trees can live for hundreds of years and reach up to 70 feet high (20 metres). The world’s most widely planted pear ‘Williams’ Bon Chretien’ was raised in England in Berkshire. In the late 18th century this pear stock was taken to Canada and USA. The Victorians saw the pear as ‘gold to the apple’s silver.’ (Joan Morgan, ‘Time to Focus on Pears,’ RHS, The Garden, January 2016, p.19)
It is thought that the ‘Cubbington pear’ tree is the oldest pear tree is the oldest in the UK, and is up to 250 years old. It will be felled to make way for HS2 rail link, but twenty saplings were propagated by RHS students at Shuttleworth College in Bedfordshire. (RHS, The Garden, September 2018, p.7)
For a review of ‘Heritage pears of the British Isles’ (and Ireland), see RHS, The Garden, November 2019, pp59-65.
We don’t have any pear trees in the woods or back patch, but we do have edible cherry and a yellow fruiting plum in the woods. Sadly the plum does not set very much fruit.
Apple Trees. For a guide to growing and different types of excellent cooking apples see RHS, The Garden, October 2019, pp.41-44.
Fig Trees. Remove large fruit that will not overwinter from figs, leaving only the large pea-sized embryonic figs in leaf axils – these will ripen in the coming season.