All about apples, pears, plums, and cherries - and orchards where they are grown

Conference pear

Conference is the most widely-grown pear variety in the UK. It crops heavily and reliably, and will grow in most situations. It is also the leading commercial pear variety in Europe, with the Netherlands being the biggest producer.

Conference is self-fertile, and a good pollinator for many other pears.

A home-grown Conference pear, picked just before it is fully ripe, has an excellent flavour that should not disappoint.

Conference was developed by the Rivers Nursery of Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, in the second half of the 19th century. It is thought to be a seedling of a continental variety called Van Mons Leon Leclerc. It was named after the National British Pear Conference held in 1885.

Conference identification images

USDA identification images for Conference

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

  • Year: 1916

  • Year: 1921

  • Year:

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

Offspring of this variety

Sports of this variety

Sports are natural genetic mutations of the original variety.

Visitor reviews

Tree register

United States

United Kingdom




New Zealand


  • Species: Pyrus communis
  • Parentage: Seedling of Van Mons Leon Leclerc
  • Introduced: Late 19th century
  • Developed by: Rivers of Sawbridgeworth


  • Picking season: Mid
  • Cropping: Heavy
  • Keeping (of fruit): 2-3 weeks
  • Food uses: Eating fresh


  • Self-fertility: Self-fertile
  • Flowering group: 3
  • Ploidy: Diploid
  • Growth habit: Upright
  • Bearing regularity: Regular


  • Cold hardiness (RHS): H6 (to -20C)
  • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cold (< 20C / 67F)
  • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)
  • Summer average maximum temperatures: Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)


  • Country of origin: United Kingdom
  • Period of origin: 1850 - 1899
  • Leaf colour: Green
  • Fruit colour: Green - light

Where to buy trees

The following tree nurseries offer Conference pear trees for sale:

Where to buy fresh fruit

The following orchards grow Conference:

United Kingdom


  • Fruit Expert
    Author: Hessayon
  • The Book of Pears (2015)
    Author: Morgan

Varieties you viewed

©2022 Orange Pippin Ltd. All rights reserved.

You may not reproduce any of the content of this website without our express permission.
We do not accept any liability for loss or damage incurred as a result of any errors in the content of this website.