On a rural area of Co. Down between Saintfield and Ballynahinch is a Peartree Road, with a Peartree farm and the very pear tree after which both were named. Marked on the earliest
Ordnance Survey maps of the 1830’s, this local hero of a pear tree is still alive and well.
The trunk leans mossily upon its support, a railway sleeper angled from the ground against the bark which is growing around it. Above, several big strong branches reach up, above the old plum and apple trees which accompany the pear in the orchard. So many of these orchards have been lost, but here old varieties like Gladstone, Irish Peach and Kemp have been retained – and still bear good fruit.
The big pear tree is well over 30’ high. A daughter pear planted in an adjoining orchard is now around 20’ high. The pears are pressed for pear juice by the tree’s owner, who surely deserves this sweet produce in return for the care given to the tree.