Kinds of Wild Pear Trees

Wild pears are found primarily in Europe and the Middle East, but have been imported and may be grown in gardens and home landscapes in the U.S. In general, wild pears are cold-hardy trees that require a set amount of time with temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit for fruit to properly set. Wild pears are available in dwarf varieties (10 feet or less) or larger trees that can reach 25 feet.

Pyrus Pyraster

Native to central and southwest Europe, this type of wild pear produces edible fruit and can be used in a woodland garden. This tree flowers in mid spring before giving way to fruit. P. pyraster thrives in loamy soil or well-draining clay soil and is not fussy about pH levels. Plant the tree, which can grow to 25 feet, in sun to part sun. Fruit is acidic right off the tree, but becomes soft, juicy and sweet after picking. It is hardy to -25 degrees F.

Pyrus Pyrifolia

Known as the sand pear or Japanese sand pear, P. pyrofolia is native to Asia, particularly in rocky mountain regions of Japan. This pear has glossy leathery leaves and an open habit. Trees can reach 20 feet tall. Japanese sand pears produce a small tart fruit late in the season and are used as ornamentals rather than for fruit. Trees, which are hardy to -25 degrees F, produce white flowers in late spring and thrive in well-draining soil. Plant in full to part shade.

Pyrus Syriaca

Known as the Syrian pear, P. syriaca is native to parts of the Middle East and produces a brilliant flower show in April, but bears inedible fruit. This tree, which has dense bright green foliage, is a dwarf variety and will grow to about 8 feet. Syrian pear trees thrive in full to part shade, but fruit production is lower in shade. Plant Syrian pear in well-draining soil. It thrives in moist soil but can tolerate drought. It is hardy to -20 degrees F.

Keywords: wild pear, edible wild fruit, fruit trees

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J.D. Chi is a professional journalist who has covered sports for more than 20 years at newspapers all over the United States. She has covered major golf tournaments and the NFL as well as travel and health topics. Chi received her Bachelor of Arts in professional writing from Carnegie Mellon University and is working toward a master's degree in journalism.