History: Bartlett pear, better known as William's Bon Chretien (translated from French as William's Good Christian) or William's pear in Europe, has a long history with unknown origins. What we do know is that in 1483 King Louis XI summoned holy man Francis of Paola to his deathbed and Francis offered the king a pear seed from his birthplace Calabria in Italy. The name 'Good Christian' was given to the pear as a result. In 1799, this variety was brought to Roxbury, Massachusetts where it was planted and eventually renamed 'Bartlett' by Enoch Bartlett who was unaware of its origins. The mistake was not realized until 1828, by which time "Bartlett" pears were already popular in North America and the mistake could not be undone.
Why We Grow It: Bartlett is the most commonly grown pear in North America and with good reason. Not only is it productive and easy to grow, but it produces large yellow fruit with a delectable flavour.
Canadian Hardiness Zone: 5
Soil Preference: Sandy loam, loam, clay loam. Prefers average to moist conditions with well-drained soils, avoid planting anywhere that floods for more than two weeks in the spring.
Growth Habits and Disease Resistance: Moderately vigorous and very hardy, spreading growth habit, has good crops. Susceptible to scab, mildew, fireblight, and coddling moth but tolerant of stony pit.
Sun/Shade: Full sun (approx. 8-10 hours of sun daily)
Pollination: Partially self-pollinating, this variety will produce some fruit without a pear of a different variety but will produce more and better fruit if one is present
Flowering Time: Middle
Ripens: Early September
Storage: Keeps until mid-September when stored in cool, humid conditions and until October when stored in cold storage
Recommended Use: Canning, fresh eating
Size including roots:
- 1m+ Whip grade: 100cm+
- Branched grade: 100 cm+ with 3 or more branches, 30 cm or more
- <1m Whip grade: less than 100 cm