History: Conference pears were found growing in the nursery of Thomas Francis River in the UK in 1884. The following year, he introduced the variety at the National British Pear Conference in London where it won fist place, solidifying its reputation and earning its name. Conference pears continue to be grown in several European countries today where it remains very popular.
Why We Grow It: This old variety has remained popular due to its pleasant and sweet flavour. It can be eaten right off the tree and will keep for a couple months. The fruit itself has an elongated neck, giving it a rather odd appearance.
Canadian Hardiness Zone: 4
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: Hardy, reliable crops, grows well in pots. Somewhat susceptible to scab and susceptible to canker and stony pit but somewhat resistant to mildew, fireblight, and coddling moth.
Sun/Shade: Full sun (approx. 8-10 hours of sun daily)
Pollination: Requires a pollinator of a different pear variety (European or Asian) that blooms around the same time
Flowering Time: Middle
Ripens: Late September
Storage: Keeps until November when stored in cool, humid conditions
Recommended Use: Fresh eating
Size including roots:
- 1m+ Whip: 100cm+
- 1m+ Branched: 100 cm+ with 3 or more branches, 30 cm or more
- <1m Whip: less than 100 cm