Black Worcester pear trees

Black Worcester pear tree
  • Pick: Very late-season
  • Flowering group: 3
  • Uses: Cookery 
  • Disease-resistance: Good
  • Pollination partners

Black Worcester is probably the oldest English pear still in use. It can be traced back to the early 16th century, and is probably much older than that.

Black Worcester pre-dates the trend towards the Continental sweet buttery-fleshed pears that became popular in Victorian England. Instead the flesh remains hard, more like an apple, and is interspersed with gritty flecks. It sounds somewhat off-putting, but don't worry - this is not a pear you eat fresh, but rather one for the kitchen. Slow cooking transforms the fruits, and this is the definitive choice for traditional English stewed pears.

Black Worcester is also quite widely known as the Warden pear, although this is probably an old English term used to describe any long-keeping culinary pear.

Black Worcester pear trees for sale

Order now for delivery from week commencing 23rd January.

Mature size* Supplied as Price Quantity

Pot-grown fruit trees

Full size  (6m+ after 5-10 years) Half-standard premium - 12l pot - Pyrus c. rootstock £35.45

Bare-root fruit trees

Full size  (6m+ after 5-10 years) 1-year - bare-root - Pyrus c. rootstock £19.45
Full size  (6m+ after 5-10 years) Standard 1.75m - bare-root - Pyrus c. rootstock £27.95

Delivery period: Pot-grown trees can be delivered from September onwards. Bare-root trees can be delivered from mid-November onwards. Within those periods you can specify your preferred month of delivery during the checkout process. It is best to order as soon as you can to ensure items are reserved for you.

*Mature size: Height shown is the approximate height of the tree when mature (after 5-10 years), not the height when supplied. See photos of trees as supplied. Actual mature heights may vary considerably dependent on your local conditions and training and pruning regime.

Stock availability: Items showing as 'sold out' will probably be available again next season. Click here to be notified when we get more trees of this variety.

Alternatives to Black Worcester pear trees

Summary features of Black Worcester

Growing

  • Gardening skill: Average?
  • Cropping: Heavy
  • Fertility: Not self-fertile?
  • Flowering group: 3?
  • Pollinating others: Poor?
  • Ploidy: Triploid?
  • Vigour: Slightly large?
  • Bearing regularity: Regular?
  • Growth habit: Spreading
  • Fruit bearing: Spur-bearer?
  • Fruit persistence: Normal ripening?
  • Overall disease resistance: Good?
  • Organic / no-spray culture?
  • Scab: Some resistance?

Uses

Identification

  • Country of origin: United Kingdom
  • Period of origin: 1550 - 1599
  • Fruit colour: Red - dark
  • Blossom colour: White
  • Leaf colour: Green
  • Popularity: Rarely grown?

Climate

  • Warm climates?
  • Temperate climates
  • Tolerates cold winters
  • Planting position: Full sun preferred

Pollination guide for Black Worcester

Black Worcester is in flowering group 3. Black Worcester is a triploid variety and cannot pollinate other varieties. It needs to be pollinated by another tree of a different variety nearby. You can either plant a self-fertile variety (which will pollinate itself and the Black Worcester) or you can plant two pollination partners which must each be of different varieties and able to cross-pollinate each other as well as the Black Worcester. If you need further advice on this just get in touch. Since it flowers in the middle of the blossom season it can be pollinated by most other pear trees.

How to grow Black Worcester pear trees

Like many ancient fruit varieties, Black Worcester is easy to grow and relatively untroubled by the usual pear diseases.

Pick the pears in the middle / end of October, and store in a cold garage or fridge. Unlike more modern pears, they will readily keep for a couple of months.

Historical details

The origins of Black Worcester are not certain, but it was known in the early 16th century, and famously appears on the coat of arms of the city of Worcester.

Botanical name

Pyrus communis 'Black Worcester'


UK-grown trees All our trees are grown in the UK.