Pear Pyrus communis
Family: Rosaceae (Rose)
Branching: Alternate

The Domestic or Common Pear closely resembles some other fruit trees of the rose family.  In particular, apple can be very similar, and at times practically identical.  Their characteristics overlap quite a bit, and in addition there are various cultivars among each group that look slightly different.  Both (along with some other members of the Rose family, like the Crabapples and Plums) have many "dwarf shoots", though Pear is more likely to have some of these terminate as a thorn.  Apple is very rarely thorny, though the dwarf shoots are quite stout and stiff.  Pear also tends to have less hairy buds.  Finding fruit is usually the best identification!

Winter twig of the Common Pear

Another view of the winter twig

Winter twig of Pear

Winter twig of Pear

Lateral bud and leaf scar

A small dwarf shoot

Dwarf shoots on a branch... The colouration can be quite similar to Apple

The dwarf shoots of Pear occasionally end in a thorn-like point.

Thorny dwarf shoot on the main trunk

Thorny dwarf shoots on the main trunk

A Pear fruit found on the ground in late December (the twig is also a Pear)

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copyright 2008 Josh Sayers
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