Dwarf Williams Pear Tree

Dwarf Williams Pear Tree

Dwarf Williams Pear Tree – Pyrus Communis

Lesley-Caron Veater

Williams pears are native to Europe and were thought to initially be discovered in England

by a schoolmaster named Mr. Stair in 1765 residing in Berkshire. A nurseryman

named Williams later acquired the variety and introduced it to the rest of England. When it

was sent to Bartlett in the U.S.A he named it the Bartlett pear and there have since been

many other names coined for this heavily producing hardy pear.

The pear is among the hardiest and easiest trees to grow and while not quite as hardy as apples they are able to tolerate low levels of drought and wet sites including clay soils

though not ideal for good fruit production. Pear Trees provide good shade foliage with bright autumn colours and white blossoms in spring.

A. The average life of a pear tree is 50 to 75 years with many living and producing at over 100 years old.

B. Pears generally begin fruiting in years 4 to 6 however as nurseries usually sell two year old trees the expectation reduces to approximately 2 to 4 years after planting for fruiting to commence.

C. Pears blossom in the Spring and fruit is produced through Summer and harvested early Autumn when the fruit is mature but still green. Pears ripen off the tree when stored in in a shady airy spot.

D. Pears will fruit from approximately the 6th year onwards for an average of 50 to 75 years

E. The Williams variety arises from Berkshire in England however earlier varieties may have been known in Italy and France according to documents dating back to the 1400s.

F. Average rainfall in Berkshire, England is 650mm and the average rainfall in my location is 600mm.

G. The genus is Pyrus and Species is Pyrus Communis

H. Pear trees lend themselves beautifully to espaliering which is ideal for smaller gardens. Deciduous fruit trees such as pear can provide shade to dwellings in the

Summer and allow additional light in Autumn and Winter when the leaves fall.

Leaf fall of deciduous fruit trees such as pear is a welcome addition to the compost. Pear wood has been a traditional element in cabinet making historically and many beautiful examples of antique furniture feature both pear and apple wood mosaic patterns.

Pear wood is a fragrant addition to the fireplace and is also readily carved by craftsmen.

A delicious addition to deserts, cheese plates, baked or preserved and drunk, pears are used to make Perry a classic fermented pear “wine” and Poire William is a famous pear Brandy made from this variety.

I. Forming a slightly conical or egg shape with straight trunks and branches that form a 60 degree angle, the size at maturity is 4.5m to 6m high with an arbour 3m – 5m wide. Dwarf varieties are ideal for smaller gardens at 2.5m high and 1.5m wide.

J. Williams are quite good self-pollinators however fruit production is increased with pollinators such as Beurre Bosc, Winter Cole or even a Crap Apple nearby.

Companion planting with marigolds, nasturtiums and borage can assist with pest control, though pest problems are usually minimal with this variety in a domestic garden.
Will require regular pruning maintenance and feeding.

Lesley-Caron Veater, April 2020

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