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Comice PearPyrus communis ‘Comice’

Hardiness Zones

The potted comice pear can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 5–9. 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 six 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.

Wildlife Value

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

History/Lore

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.