Bartlett Pear

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Bartlett Pear

Pyrus communis ‘Bartlett’

Description & Overview

Bartlett pear is a very old European pear that is known primarily as ‘Williams’ throughout Europe. When it was brought to America it was mislabeled and got re-introduced as ‘Bartlett’. Same great pear just a new name. This variety excels for canning and fresh use.

Core Characteristics

Mature Height: 15-20 feet
Mature Spread: 12 feet
Growth Rate: Slow
Growth Form: Very upright
Light Requirements: Full Sun
Site Requirements: Well-drained site
Flower: White
Bloom Period: Mid-May
Foliage: Green
Fall Color: Yellow
Urban Approved: Site Specific
Fruit Notes: Sweet, juicy with a yellow skin color

Suggested Uses:

Like all European pears, Bartlett should not be allowed to ripen fully on the tree before picking. They are best when picked at the green/ripe stage. This is when the grass green fruits turn a light sea green to yellow green in color. When picked at this stage they can be stored for up to 1 month in refrigeration. Allow to ripen for 3-5 days outside of cold storage before consuming. If left to fully ripen on the tree, pears will often be rotten around the core due to uneven ripening of the fruit.

bartlett pear pyrus communis

Wildlife Value:

Enjoyed by deer and various other small mammals.

Maintenance Tips:

Pears should never be pruned in spring after breaking dormancy due to their high susceptibility to fireblight. Prune while dormant in the winter or early spring. We offer our pear trees on a semi-dwarf rootstock so they will average about 15′-20′ when full grown. With proper pruning, they can be kept to a height of 15′.

bartlett pear pyrus communis


Bartlett is highly susceptible to fireblight. Fireblight is a bacterial disease. It is best to grow young pear trees slow as lots of rapid new growth in the spring will make them more prone to fireblight damage. This is obtained by using only very light applications of fertilizer to young pear trees while they are getting established if fertilizing at all. Prune out any fireblight strikes that occur in spring as soon as noticed being sure to sterilize your pruners between cuts with a 1/10th bleach solution (1 part bleach & 9 parts water).

Leaf Lore:

Bartlett is the #1 pear variety grown in the U.S. for canned pears.

Companion Plants:

Bartlett must be cross-pollinated with another pear variety to produce fruit. Seckel pear and any triploid pear varieties (Luscious, Gourmet) are not compatible pollinators for Bartlett.

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