Catillac pear trees

Catillac pear tree

Catillac is a traditional French pear variety, first described in "Le Jardinier Francais", a popular French gardening book published in the 1650s during the reign of Louis XIV. There is some evidence this variety was grown in the royal orchards at Versailles at this time.

Unlike most modern pears, it is not usually eaten fresh, but is brought to perfection by slow poaching or cooking.

Catillac pears are fairly large, and store well, and the trees are also big and reliable heavy-croppers, and quite disease-resistant - all important characteristics before modern refrigeration.

As well as the interesting fruits, Catillac features particularly attractive spring blossom.

If you want to create a traditional French pear dessert as might have been served at the court of King Louis XIV, this is the variety you need.

Catillac pear trees for sale

Delivery from 16th April (when showing as in stock)

Mature size*Supplied asPriceQuantity

Pot-grown fruit trees

Large  (3m - 4m after 5-10 years)2-year bush-trained - 12l pot - Quince A rootstock  less than 5 in stock£33.45

Bare-root fruit trees

Large  (3m - 4m after 5-10 years)1-year - bare-root - Quince A rootstock £19.50Sold outalert me
Full size  (6m+ after 5-10 years)Standard 1.75m - bare-root - Pyrus c. rootstock £30.95Enquire

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 Catillac pear trees

Summary features of Catillac


  • Gardening skill: Average?
  • Cropping: Heavy
  • Fertility: Not self-fertile?
  • Flowering group: 3?
  • Pollinating others: Average?
  • Ploidy: Triploid?
  • Vigour: Slightly large?
  • Bearing regularity: Regular?
  • Growth habit: Spreading
  • Fruit persistence: Normal ripening?
  • Overall disease resistance: Good?
  • Scab: Very resistant?



  • Country of origin: France
  • Period of origin: 1600 - 1649
  • Fruit colour: Yellow / Red
  • Blossom colour: White
  • Leaf colour: Green
  • Popularity: Rarely grown?


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

Pollination guide for Catillac

Catillac is in flowering group 3. Catillac 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 Catillac) 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 Catillac. 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 Catillac pear trees

Catillac is a vigorous and heavy-cropping variety. It grows well in most climates, including the UK.

Catillac is a triploid variety and will not cross-pollinate other pears, but is easily pollinated by most other mid or late-flowering pear varieties.

The fruit size is relatively large by pear standards - provided you thin the fruitlets in late spring.

Historical details

Catillac pear was described by Nicolas de Bonnefond (or Bonnefons) in his book "Le Jardinier Francais", which was published several times (due to its immediate popularity) from about 1650 - 1706. He refers to it as Cadillac, which may suggest its origins, in the town of Cadillac near Bordeaux in south-western France. De Bonnefond states it is best used in the period December-January.

By de Bonnedond's time Catillac was widely grown in France, and is believed to have been planted in King Louis XIV's "Potager du Roi", the fruit and vegetable garden attached to the Palace of Versailles, which was constructed between 1678 and 1683. It is likely that de Bonnefond was employed by Louis XIV at some stage.

Botanical name

Pyrus communis 'Catillac'

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

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