With the right cultivar, you can grow a pear tree in most regions of Canada with no trouble. The most cold-resistant dessert pears can grow as far north as zone 3a, and some would be worth trying in zone 2b. As well as prioritising cold-resistance in our selection of cultivars, we graft our pear trees onto hardy and resilient rootstock, which we grow ourselves from seed.
To grow well, pear trees will need well-drained soil, and plenty of sunlight. They have a very vigorous and upright growth habit; becoming taller than apple trees (about 10 metres or 35 feet in height at maturity) but spreading less wide (6 metres, or 20 feet.) Their height can be controlled somewhat with rigorous pruning, but only to a certain degree (you can find out more details in our article on pruning here). All going well, these trees will live for about 200 years, providing fruit for several future generations.
European or Russian pear tree?
Pears are actually a whole family of different species; the most common being the European pear or common pear (Pyrus communis); the Asian or Nashi pear (Pyrus pyrifolia) and the Russian or Siberian pear (Pyrus ussuriensis). Most of the pear trees we offer are within the European species, but we also offer a few cultivars that originate from a cross between Russian pear and European pear: Krazulya, Vekovaya and Ure.
These Russian crosses are quite different from their pure European cousins, and it’s good to know what to expect of them. They have the great advantages of being more cold hardy and often more productive, but their pears also have a unique taste all their own; which will definitely differ from the pears you buy at the grocery. European pears taste mild and sweet, and are often creamy and melting in texture. Russian pears have a texture that tends to be coarser, and their skin is a bit thicker. They also have a richer and more aromatic flavour profile, and although they are sweet, they also carry some astringency and sometimes a slight acidity. Some of us here like them even more than the European cultivars, enjoying their rich flavour, while the more sweet-toothed among us prefer European pears.
To choose the trees that will grow well for you, the first step is to know the hardiness zone in which they will be planted. If you do not already know your zone, you can find it here by writing the name of the municipality in which your trees will be planted.
When you select your zone, each variety that is hardy in your area will be identified, to make your choice easier.
Data was extracted from the Natural Resources Canada Hardiness Zones map.
I already know my hardiness zone
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Discover our varieties
Our selection of cultivars is the result of many years of harvesting, testing, and tasting many dozens of cultivars in our experimental orchard. Here you will find only those that have proven themselves, in our experience, to be both untroublesome and winterproof; and produce fruit that is a joy and delight to eat! Their harvest periods range from August until October, with those harvested later generally better for storage. Depending on how you wish to use your fruit, you might prefer to prioritise pears with either early or late harvests – or plant some of each, for an extended harvest season.
Julienne Pear Tree
Krazulya Pear Tree
Loma Pear Tree
Lorraine Pear Tree
Nova Pear Tree
Patten Pear Tree
Savignac Ronde Verte Pear Tree
Siberian Pear Tree
Southworth Pear Tree