Beth is an excellent early-season pear, very well suited to UK gardens. It grows in a neat and compact fashion (although quite upright like most pears). Cropping is very good in most situations.
Beth has a particularly good flavour, with the characteristic melting texture usually associated with the French pear varieties.
Beth pear trees for sale
1.1-year maiden bare-root
Quince Eline rootstock
Medium size (2.5m-3m after 10 years)
2.1-year maiden bare-root
Quince A rootstock
Large size (3m-4m after 10 years)
How to grow
Beth is a low-vigour variety, yet with a heavy cropping potential. This combination can lead to small fruit size, but this is readily addressed by thinning the fruitlets in late May - thinning is a particularly effective technique with Beth.
Beth comes into bearing quite young by the standards of most pears, you are likely to get some fruit within 2-3 years. However, be wary of letting it fruit too heavily too early, as this can slow further growth of the tree.
The picking season is starts at the end of August in the southern UK, a bit later further north. Keep a close eye on the crop at this stage, and pick the pears whilst they are still hard and ripen in a fruit bowl - they should not be ripened on the tree.
Beth is self-sterile so needs a pollination partner, but will be pollinated by a large number of other pear varieties.
Pears are generally more tolerant than apples to wet soils, but much less tolerant of drought conditions. Like all pears, Beth benefits from watering during the spring, as soon as the blossom starts to appear - if there is insufficient rain then apply 4-5 litres of water per day.
Beth was developed at the East Malling Research Station in the UK in the 1930s by Henry Tydeman (who also developed many apple varieties including Tydeman's Late Orange). It is a cross between Beurre Superfin and Williams' Bon Chretien.
- Picking period (southern UK):late August
- Picking season:Early
- Keeping (of fruit):1 week
- Food uses:Eating fresh
- Gardening skill:Suitable for beginners
- Self-fertility:Not self-fertile
- Flowering group:3
- Pollinating others:Average
- Vigour:Weak growing
- Bearing regularity:Regular
- Fruit bearing:Spur-bearer
- Climate suitability:Temperate climates
- Summer average maximum temperatures:Cool ( 20C - 24C / 68F - 75F), Warm (25C - 30C / 76F - 85F), Cold (< 20C / 67F)
- Country of origin:United Kingdom
- Period of origin:1900 - 1949
- Fruit colour:Green - light
- Awards:RHS Award of Garden Merit