Pear is the name commonly applied to deciduous trees of the genus Pyrus (Rosaceae), as well as to their pyriform fruits. Most cultivated pears have originated from the wild pears of southeastern Europe.
Pear trees are best grown in deep, well-drained soils that are provided with enough moisture. Throughout the world they are cultivated in temperate zones and their different cultivars require winter chilling (days with temperatures at or below 7ºC). The fruit, which ripens after picking, develops in 100-190 days between blossom and harvest. There are three main groups of pear cultivars, which differ by date of maturing and by storage life. Those of the summer group mature during July-August and havea short (1-3 months) storage life. Pears of the fall group mature from September to October and can be stored for of 2-4 months, and the winter fruits mature in October to November and have a storage life of 6-7 months.
The fruit may be green to yellow or red to russet and is marketed fresh or for canning and baking. The commonest cultivar is Bartlett, which matures during summer to fall. The total world yield of pears was about 17 million tons in 2002, the leading producers being Italy, the USA, Spain, Japan and Turkey. About 1,650 hectares are planted to pears in Israel.
Advances in pear cultivation are presented in periodical International Symposia on Pear Growing (for instance: at http://www.actahort.org/books/587/587_0.htm).
Major Pear pests in the Middle East
Anonymous, 2003. FAO Production Yearbook for 2002 # 56. FAO, Rome, Italy.
Anonymous, 2003. Statistical Abstract of Israel # 54. Central Bureau of Statistics, Jerusalem.
Cohen, M. (Ed.) A Guide to Integrated Pest Management of Stone Fruits in Israel. Pest Identification, Monitoring and Treatment Thresholds. Fruit Board of Israel (in Hebrew).
Joshi, V.K. and Buthani, V.P. 1995. Peach and nectarine. In: Salunkhe, D.K. and Kadam, S.S. (Eds.), Handbook of Fruit Science and Technology, Production, Composition, Storage and Processing pp. 243-296. Marcel Dekker, New York.