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Bartlett PearPyrus communis ‘Bartlett’

  • Bartlett Pear - Pyrus communis
  • Bartlett Pear - Pyrus communis

Known as America’s favorite pear, the Bartlett variety actually came from Europe. It functions as the standard by which all other pears are measured and is a favorite for fresh eating, canning and preserves.

The Bartlett pear is easy to grow and will reward its owner with beautiful blossoms in the spring, large and luscious fruit in late summer and a continuous crop for as much as 100 years.

Hardiness Zones

The bartlett pear can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 5–7. View Map

Tree Type

This is a fruit tree, grown primarily for the edible fruit it produces.

Mature Size

The standard Bartlett pear grows to a height of about 20' and a spread of around 20' at maturity. The dwarf variety grows to a height of 12–15' with a spread of about 10'.

Growth Speed Fast Growth Rate

This tree grows at a fast rate, with height increases of more than 24" per year.

Sun Preference

Full sun is the ideal condition for this tree, meaning it should get at least 6 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The Bartlett pear grows best in slightly acidic, deep, heavy, and moist (but well-drained) soil. Other soil types are tolerated, but the tree may produce a lighter crop. It is especially sensitive to salt and is not drought-tolerant.


This tree:
  • Produces large, yellow fruit with a smooth and juicy white flesh--ideal for eating, canning and preserves.
  • Yields ripe fruit typically in late August or early September that will keep for up to 3 months if stored properly.
  • Begins to bear fruit while young and has been known to continue bearing for over 100 years.
  • Blooms just before the leaves appear in the spring, with showy white flowers.
  • Is available in standard and dwarf sizes. Our standard Bartlett seedlings are budded onto whole rootstock, and our dwarf seedlings are grafted to Quince or Quince A (Malling A).
  • Needs regular watering.
  • Requires cross-pollination with Orient or another European pear variety (excluding Kieffer) growing within 100' for standard trees and within 20' for dwarf trees.
  • Has a chill hours (CU) requirement of 800. (Chill hours are the average hours of air temperature between 32° and 45° F in a typical winter season.)
  • Features simple leaves that are glossy green, measure up to 3" long, have fine teeth on the margin and alternate on the twig.
  • Grows in an oval shape.

Wildlife Value

The fruit of pear trees are attractive to birds and squirrels.


With the tree’s name, you might assume it was discovered by a man named Bartlett. But story is not nearly so simple. The variety was actually discovered growing wild in England by John Stair sometime around 1770. He sold some cuttings from his discovery to a nurseryman by the name of Williams, who commercialized the tree and named it after himself. So the Williams pear was born (and many Europeans still know it by this name).

When the variety was brought to America in the late 1790s, it lost its European identity. The first import was planted on a property in Massachusetts that was thereafter acquired by Enoch Bartlett. Mr. Bartlett enjoyed the pears but was unaware of the tree’s European name. According to Pears of New York (1921), Bartlett “allowed the pear to go out under his own (name).” The American Pomological Society added the Bartlett pear to its list of fruits in 1848, leaving Mr. Stair forever forgotten.