There are approximately 30 species of pear trees in the world and many more varieties, but all of them share some similar characteristics. Pears are related to apples and quinces. Pear trees thrive in temperate, coastal climates all over the world including Europe, Asia and the United States. To identify a specific species or variety of pear, consult a local guidebook or local grower.
Pears are of the Rosaceae family and so their blossoms resemble small, wild white roses. These have five petals and are approximately 1 inch in diameter.
The blossoms grow in clusters of 4 to 10 among ovate shaped leaves. Most leaves are deep green but some species may have a silvery coloured leaf. Once pollinated these may begin to produce pears.
Pear fruits are tear drop in shape, with some species being shorter and rounder than others. The colouration of the fruit can be anything from a light green-yellow to a deep golden-red. Most varieties ripen during August to September.
Pear trees vary in size, again depending on the species. Most are average in size and can grow to about 30 feet high if not trimmed. Others are more shrublike in stature.
In the fall pear trees lose their leaves as they are deciduous. Going dormant helps them to endure the winter temperatures. The bark of most pear trees is smooth and silvery grey to reddish brown in colour.