BEURRE BOSC PEAR TREE
By David Marks
The Beurre Bosc pear variety produces very tasty pears which can be somewhat variable in texture. When grown in the UK against a sunny wall the texture is soft and melting. In cooler situations the pear becomes slightly crisper but eminently eatable. Although preferring warm conditions it flowers later than average which makes it a good candidate for areas where a late frost can damage the blossom. Those characteristics suit the region where it was first found, Apremont about 35 miles north east of Paris.
PARENTAGE OF BEURRE BOSC
The parents of Beurre Bosc are not known, it was found as an unidentified seedling in France during the early 1800s.
Hoggs Fruit Manual has this to say about it:
“Fruit, large; pyriform. Skin almost entirely covered with thin cinnamon-coloured russet, leaving here and there only a small portion of the yellow ground colour visible …. Flesh, white, melting and buttery, very juicy, rich and aromatic. A desert pear of first rate quality; ripe in October and November. The tree is a good bearer but unless grown against a wall, or in a warm situation, the fruit is apt to be crisp or only half melting. Mr Blackmore says that at Teddington it is as hard as an apple.”
APPEARANCE, TASTE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF BEURRE BOSC
The key appearance feature is that the skin is almost all covered in russet so if this is not to your taste then we suggest looking elsewhere. The background yellow-green colour barely shows through. The pears are about average size and the flesh is white.
The taste of Beurre Bosc pears is pleasantly on the sweet side and when grown in warm condition the flesh is deliciously melting.
Fruit is produced mid to late season (see below for average expected dates) and Beurre Bosc should be harvested when the pears are slightly under-ripe. See here for detailed information on when to harvest pears. This variety is no different from others, after harvest it should be stored in cool conditions after harvest and bought inside the house for a couple of days prior to eating.
POLLINATION PARTNERS FOR BEURRE BOSC PEARS
Beurre Bosc (pollination group 4) is self-sterile and you need one of the following other varieties nearby for pollination:
- Clapps Favourite (pollination group 3)
- Concorde (pollination group 3 to 4)
- Doyenne du Comice (pollination group 4)
- Gorham (pollination group 4)
- Winter Nelis (pollination group 3)
HOW TO PRUNE BEURRE BOSC PEAR TREE
The normal rules for pruning a pear tree apply to Beurre Bosc.
The final height and spread of a mature (seven year old) Beurre Bosc pear tree will depend on the rootstock used, soil and growing conditions. This variety is unusual because it is available to the average gardener only on rootstocks other than Quince A and C. This will result in larger than normal trees. Averages are as follows:
- Pyrodwarf rootstock (semi-dwarfing) 4.5m to 5m (14ft to 16ft)
- Pyrus c. rootstock (natural size) 6m to 8m (20ft to 27ft)
More information about growing pear trees including planting, feeding, watering, mulching, harvesting and pruning can be found on our page here.
The primary use for Beurre Bosc pears is for eating but they also OK for cooking.
BUYING BEURRE BOSC PEAR TREES
Beurre Bosc is only available from a few online specialist fruit tree suppliers.
SUMMARY CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BEURRE BOSC PEAR TREE
USE: Eating, can also be used for cooking
SKIN COLOUR / TEXTURE: Mainly covered in russet, golden brown
FLESH COLOUR: White
TASTE AND TEXTURE: Soft and buttery
FRUIT SIZE: Average
SUITABILITY FOR FAN / ESPALIER GROWTH: Not on readily available rootstocks
TREE SIZE: Large on readily available rootstocks
REGULARITY OF CROPPING: Regularly produces good crops
POLLINATION: Flowering Group 3 to 4, self-sterile, needs a suitable pollination partner, see text above for suitable varieties.
DIPLOID / TRIPLOID? Diploid, good as a pollinator for other pear trees in flowering groups 3 and 4
ROOTSTOCKS: Only available on Pyrodwarf and Pyrus c.
AWARDS: Not known
PROPAGATION: We know of no restrictions to propagating this variety of pear.
BOTANICAL NAME: Pyrus communis ‘Beurre Bosc’
SPECIAL FEATURES: None
FLOWERING AND FRUITING TIMES: The average flowering time (optimum time for pollination) and date when fruits are ripe in the UK for the Beurre Bosc pear tree are set out below. If you have set your home town we can give you a more accurate estimate, if you have not set your home town (do it now by clicking here) the dates below will be the average for the UK.
Your town has not been set, the average main flowering time for Beurre Bosc in the UK is the first week of May. Fruit will be ready for picking in the last week of October. Click here if you want to set the dates to your home town.
Flowering and fruit picking dates vary according to the weather in any particular growing season so the above dates may well change slightly from one year to the next. The flowering date above is when the pear tree produces the maximum number of blossoms, it will also produce blossom, although less, a week or two either side of the date given.
The fruit from Beurre Bosc should be harvested when it is just under-ripe because they ripen best off the tree. In practice, wait till a few pears drop off the tree of their own accord and then harvest the remaining pears over a couple of weeks. They are ready for picking when they can be easily pulled off the tree. To ripen them fully, take them into the house (not on a window sill) at normal indoors temperature. They will be ready to eat after two to three days. To store longer keep them in a cool dark place such as a garage, shed or the fridge. For more details on harvesting pears click here.
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