The Williams pear tree was imported from England into the United States about 1799 by Mr. James Carter. The trees were planted on the grounds of Thomas Brewer in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Enoch Bartlett of Dorchester, Massachusetts, acquired the Brewer estate. Not knowing the identity of the trees, Bartlett propagated and introduced the variety to the United States under his own name. In 1828, when new trees arrived from Europe, it was realized that Bartlett and Williams pears were one in the same. For more of the interesting history of the Bartlett pear click here.
Williams, or Bartlett, pear is the most commonly grown pear in most countries outside of Asia.
We have two old Bartlett pear trees, but they are prolific producers. And in spite of the natural pruning by bears and deer, we have a large enough harvest to keep us through winter and into spring.
In the above photo, the lower limbs are bare, thanks to natural pruning by deer.
Pears should be harvested while still green. They will ripen at room temperature.
To the sounds of the protesting deer, huffing and stomping, Hubby harvested the pears. I am working on canning six boxes worth.
Yummy pear goodness!
Bartletts have a wonderful flavor and sweetness and are quite versatile. Can them, make fruit butter, pear sauce, preserves and chutney. Dry them. Slice them in a salad. Bake a pear pie. Drink a pear smoothie. And, by all means, enjoy a fresh whole pear for a snack!