The Earliest USA Harvesting of Bartlett Pears Is Here In The California Delta!

Our Bartlett Pears range from over a hundred years of age to some just planted this last Spring.  Later, when I post new information on our Bartlett pears, I’ll go into how the Bartlett got its name, but the name Bartlett did come from an American guy named Enoch Bartlett who bought an estate in Massachusetts after 1800.  Well, he supposedly did not know anything of the origin of his pears on the estate, so he propagated them and decided to show them to all of the U.S. as the Bartlett Pear. He surely must have been surprised to find out, in 1828, that, after many pear trees were imported from the U.K., ones just like his were called the Williams Pear!


The Bartlett Pear had become popular by then, so it came to be (mistakenly) called the American Pear, and probably by a lot of great advertising showing so-called “All American” apple-cheeked children biting into them. But it must have worked because the Bartlett Pear is considered the most popular to eat in the country.

The scientific name for the Bartlett Pear is “Pyrus communis “Williams”.

It is a European Pear, a cultivar of the species communis.

Ha, Williams was known to discover it, but that is another story!

Here in the California Delta, these big juicy pears are characteristically large-bottomed, with prominent shoulders and narrower near the stem. To pick them, we gently twist while pulling.

Bartlett pears here are harvested first in the United States; in mid-July, our orchard is roof-deep in wooden bins ready to be filled.  Bartlett trees require both pruning and harvesting by hand; it is done by a skilled and experienced team, both men and women, driving down our driveway at daybreak.



Mr. Cortez (June, 2020). Interview; June, 2020