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Kieffer PearPyrus communis x P. pyrifolia

  • Kieffer Pear - Pyrus communis x P. pyrifolia

Said to be an accidental hybrid, the Kieffer pear is a hardy tree. It grows rapidly, lives long, is disease-resistant and bears a large crop. It also tolerates a wide range of climates, thriving in northern states as well as hotter southern states. In fact, the Kieffer pear is the most widely planted pears in the South.

The golden yellow fruit has white flesh that is crisp and coarse in texture—excellent for canning, baking, preserves and pear honey. The tree produces fruit late September to October.

Hardiness Zones

The kieffer pear can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 4–9. View Map

Tree Type

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

Mature Size

The standard Kieffer 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 Kieffer 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 but will tolerate both drought and flooding.

Attributes

This tree:
  • Produces large, long, golden yellow fruit with a crimson blush. The flesh is crisp, white and coarse in texture--good for canning, baking, preserves and pear honey.
  • Yields ripe fruit typically in mid-September or mid-October. Pick while the fruit is still hard and store in a cool place.
  • Bears a heavy crop, beginning when young and continuing dependably for many years.
  • Blooms late in the season with white flowers.
  • Tolerates hot climates.
  • Is available in standard and dwarf sizes. Our standard Kieffer seedlings are budded onto whole rootstock, and our dwarf seedlings are grafted to Quince or Quince A (Malling A).
  • Is self-fertile but provides a better crop when planted in multiples.
  • Has a chill hours (CU) requirement of 350–400. (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, have fine teeth on the margin and provide golden bronze fall color.
  • Grows in an oval to rounded shape.
  • Is practically immune to blight.

Wildlife Value

Pear orchards are considered valuable habitats for wildlife.  The fruit of pear trees are attractive to birds and squirrels.

History/Lore

This cultivar originated on the farm of Peter Kieffer in colonial Philadelphia. It is said to have been an accidental cross between a European and an Oriental pear.