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Bartlett pear


Bartlett is one of the most widely-grown pear varieties, but confusingly is usually known as Williams or Williams Bon Chretien in Europe.  The dual names reflect its fascinating history.  It was discovered in the town of Aldermaston, England, in the 18th century, and came to the attention of a nurseryman, Mr Williams of Turnham Green - who recognised the variety had great potential and named it after himself. Samples were soon sent to the USA where, unlike many European pears of the era, it appeared very well suited to the climate and quickly became an important commercial variety.  However the variety name became lost so a Boston nurseryman who was involved in propagating it, Bartlett, named it after himself.

Bartlett / Williams is not only very widely-grown, but has been involved in many breeding programmes and a huge number of subsequent varieties can claim it as an ancestor.

Bartlett pear identification images

All images copyright Orange Pippin unless otherwise stated.

  • Williams
  • Williams
  • Williams
  • Williams

USDA identification images for Bartlett

The identification paintings in the USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection span the years 1886 to 1942.

    Citation: U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705.

    Visitor reviews

    Tree register

    United States

    United Kingdom





    New Zealand


    Spring blossom records for this variety

    2021 season

    • 25th April  2021  - tree owned by Joel in Gardners, United States

    2014 season

    • 10th May  2014  - tree owned by Albany in Castleton, United States
    • 10th May  2014  - tree owned by Brenda in Marion, United States

    2013 season

    • 5th May  2013  - tree owned by Albany in Castleton, United States

    Record your blossom dates in our Fruit Tree Register - more >>.

    Harvest records for this variety

    2013 season

    • 1st week September  2013  - tree owned by Brenda in Marion, United States


    • Species: Pyrus communis - Pear
    • Originates from: Aldermaston, England, United Kingdom
    • Introduced: 1770
    • Developed by: Mr Wheeler or Mr Stair
    • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 2001-099


    • Country of origin: United Kingdom
    • Period of origin: 1750 - 1799
    • Fruit colour: Green - light
    • Leaf colour: Green
    • Popularity: Best sellers
    • Annual cycle: Deciduous
    • Flesh colour: Cream
    • Fruit size: Average
    • Awards: RHS AGM (former)


    • Picking season: Early
    • Keeping (of fruit): 1 week
    • Flavour quality: Good
    • Cropping: Good
    • Fruit persistence: Normal ripening
    • Food uses: Eating fresh
    • Picking period: early September
    • Wildlife: RHS Plants for Pollinators
    • Rootstock size class: Standard
    • Rootstock % of standard: 100%
    • Rootstock compatibility: European pear
    • Rootstock compatibility: Medlar


    • Gardening skill: Average
    • Flowering group: 3
    • Pollinating others: Average
    • Ploidy: Diploid
    • Vigour: Average vigour
    • Bearing regularity: Regular
    • Fruit bearing: Spur-bearer
    • Self-fertility: Partially self-fertile
    • Other incompatibility: Williams pear group
    • Support required: Free-standing


    • Frost resistance of blossom: Good resistance
    • Cold hardiness (USDA): Zone 4 (-34C)
    • Climate suitability: Temperate climates
    • Climate suitability: Warm climates
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cold (< 20C / 67F)

    Other qualities

    • Disease resistance: Poor
    • Powdery mildew: Very resistant
    • Scab (Apple and Pear): Some susceptibility
    • Woolly aphid: Some susceptibility
    • Fire blight: Very susceptible
    • Honey / Oak root fungus: Some resistance
    • Black end / Hard end: Very resistant
    • Pear decline: Some resistance

    Where to buy trees

    The following tree nurseries offer Bartlett pear trees for sale:

    Where to buy fresh fruit

    The following orchards grow Bartlett:

    United States


    • The Book of Pears (2015)
      Author: Morgan

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