Bartlett Pear Tree

Growing Zones in Ground: 5 - 8 / in Pots: 4 - 11


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The famous Bartlett Pear Tree is a vigorous grower that produces smooth yellow pears known for their firm juicy flesh and sweet spiced taste. Bartlett Pear Trees are fast growing, can be grown in-ground within USDA Zones 5 to 8, and can start making fruit in four to six years once planted. Bartlett Pear Trees bloom white flowers in spring followed by small green fruit that increases in size, slowly turns yellow, and ripens around late August. Bartlett Pears are good for eating fresh or cooking, and their season makes them poplar for late summer salads and feasts.

Fast growing Bartlett Pears are sometimes called Williams Pears. They prefer full sun in a location where the soil is rich, but well-draining. In order to perform at their best Bartlett Pear Trees require 800 chill hours and a companion pollinator tree growing nearby. Under these conditions, within the recommended zone, and with proper water and nutrition, Bartlett Pear Trees can grow up to twenty feet tall and thirteen feet wide.

Bartlett Pear Tree Care

Bartlett Pear Trees growing in-ground can increase in size by as much as two feet per year. Plant new trees in well-drained soil and provide water with a slow deep method, such as a drip hose, when the soil surface is dry down to three inches. If your area experiences drought or extended dry periods, be sure to water Bartlett Pear Trees at least once per week in spring, summer, and early fall.

Watering Bartlett Pear Trees through deep, slow methods helps the trees establish deep roots. Deeper roots will give the trees an advantage when drier weather sets in. Since Bartlett Pear Trees are not drought-tolerant, deep roots contribute to better tree health and fruit production. You can also help retain moisture in the soil by mulching the area under your Bartlett Pear Tree with tree bark, leaves, straw, or grass clippings.

Fruit & Harvesting

Bartlett Pears are large, yellow, and have light maroon or bronze blush on the skin when the fruits are ripe. Inside their flesh is white, juicy, and smooth. Bartlett Pears are described as having the taste of honey with a light spice. Bartlett Pears are great to eat fresh, can, bake with, and add to salads and beverages. Ripe Bartlett Pears will store for three months in a cool dry place such as a pantry. They can be refrigerated for longer keeping, and canned or frozen for extended storage.

Bartlett Pear Trees bloom before their leaves appear in spring. The trees produce bright white blossoms and the Bartlett Pears ripen from August through the first weeks of September. The trees are known to live for very long periods of time and some specimens have produced fruit for over a century. In late summer when pears start to show their maroon blush, begin tasting to find the ripe fruits. The pears will continue to ripen through September, with fruit at the tops and sides of the tree ripening first, and interior fruits taking longest.


Bartlett Pear Trees naturally grow in an upright oval habit. Prune the trees in late winter and adhere to the tree’s natural oval shape. First, prune the highest limbs, then move down the sides and prune as you go. Trim off as much as three feet from each branch. Cut off any low-growing suckers, or limbs growing back toward the main trunk.

When pruning a Bartlett Pear Tree, cut out any dead or damaged branches. Pear wood can be used for cooking, smoking meats, and chipped for use as mulch. Be sure to remove any pruned or fallen branches from the base of the tree. It is also a good idea to always pick up fallen fruit. Decaying branches or fruit left at the base of a tree is an invitation for pests, mold, and fungus.


Are Bartlett Pear Trees thornless?

Yes the trunk and limbs of the Bartlett Pear Tree is free of thorns. The leaf edges are serated so you may wish to wear gloves and long sleeves when pruning or harvesting the trees.

Are Bartlett Pears red or yellow?

Bartlett Pears are yellow with deep maroon blush that appears when the fruit gets ripe.

What is the recommended location for growing a Bartlett Pear Tree?

Bartlett Pear Trees are recommended for growing in the ground, in full sun, within USDA Plant Zones 5 to 8.

Do Bartlett Pear Trees require pollinator trees to grow fruit?

Bartlett Pear Trees do require a second pollinator tree to produce pears. Any European Pear variety except Kieffer will cross-pollinate a Bartlett Pear Tree.