Pyrus communis

That’s Bartlett pear to you and me, and last week we had to take down one of the two remaining pear trees on our property. It had succumbed to scale and fire blight over the last few years despite all efforts to restore it to good health. Our neighborhood used to be acres of pear orchards, back in the  early to mid-20th century. Few of the original trees remain, making it especially sad to have to cut this one down.

The one in our back garden is still, thankfully, in fairly good health despite being ancient, despite having served as pecking practice for a neighborhood woodpecker, despite having split and healed over, and it still bears more fruit every August than we can possibly use. A lot of those green pears go to the local food bank, and the rest I use to make pear sauce, pear butter, pear and ginger jam, and the caramelized upside-down pear tarts adored by my husband.

The tree that had been in the front garden also produced lots of pears, but not of as good quality because of its diseased state. The local deer are not as picky as we humans, however, and our house had been a regular stop on their annual tour of summer deer candy. Although the plan is to plant a Japanese maple at that corner, one with brilliant fall foliage to remind me of home, I’ll miss that pear tree.

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