Pear Pyrus communis 'Onward' (D)

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
pear 'Onward'


Pyrus communis 'Onward', commonly known as the 'Onward' pear, is a cultivar noted for its attractive appearance. This plant bears a classic pear tree shape, with a rounded to broad-spreading form. The branches are outfitted with glossy, green leaves that have a somewhat oval to round shape with pointed tips and finely serrated edges. These leaves turn a delightful color in the fall, adding seasonal interest. The 'Onward' pear is particularly admired for its showy blossoms. In spring, it produces an abundance of white flowers arranged in clusters. The flowers have a delicate appearance with five rounded petals, and they exude a gentle, sweet fragrance that can attract pollinators such as bees. As the season progresses, the plant showcases its fruiting capability. The pears themselves have a typical pear shape—rounded at the base and tapering to a point near the stem. The skin of the ripe fruit is usually a greenish-yellow, often with a blush of red where the sun has kissed the fruit. The flesh inside is generally white, tender, juicy, and sweet, making the fruit a delicious fresh treat. Overall, the 'Onward' pear is a graceful addition to any garden, combining beauty with utility, as it offers both visual appeal and edible fruits.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Onward Pear

    • Common names

      Pyrus communis 'Onward'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant in question is the pear. Pears, including the 'Onward' cultivar, are not toxic to humans and are widely consumed as a fruit. There is no threat of poisoning from eating the fruit. However, the seeds contain a compound that can turn into cyanide in the stomach, but you'd have to consume an extremely large number of seeds for it to be harmful. It's also worth mentioning that the leaves, stem, and seeds are not typically consumed, and there may be a risk if a large quantity of these parts were ingested, but this is not a common occurrence.

    • To pets

      The plant in question is the pear. Pears, including the 'Onward' cultivar, are generally not toxic to pets; the fruit can be eaten by dogs and cats and is often used as a healthy treat. However, similar to humans, the seeds do contain a small amount of cyanogenic glycosides, which can release cyanide when digested, but a pet would have to consume a large volume of seeds for this to pose a true risk. It is always best to remove the seeds and core before giving pears to pets to avoid any potential issues.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      13 feet (4 meters)

    • Spread

      10 feet (3 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Produces Fruit: The 'Onward' pear tree yields delicious, juicy pears suitable for eating fresh, cooking, or canning.
    • Ornamental Value: With its attractive blossom in spring and good autumn leaf color, it offers seasonal beauty to gardens and landscapes.
    • Wildlife Attraction: Flowers provide nectar for pollinators such as bees, and the fruit can be a food source for birds.
    • Shade Provider: As a tree, it can offer a pleasant shade during hot summer months, creating cool areas for relaxation.
    • Longevity: Pear trees can live and bear fruit for many years, offering a long-term benefit from a single planting.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, pear trees like 'Onward' require minimal care compared to other fruit trees, making them suitable for less experienced gardeners.
    • Adaptable: They can adapt to a range of soil types, although they prefer well-drained soil, and can be grown in a variety of climates.
    • Cross-Pollination: This variety can improve the fruit set of nearby pear trees through cross-pollination, enhancing the overall yield of home orchards.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Pear wood is often used for carving, due to its fine, dense grain it's well-suited for intricate detail.
    • The wood of the pear tree can be employed in the manufacturing of musical instruments, particularly woodwind instruments, for its clear and resonant sound.
    • Pear leaves can be used to create a natural dye for fabrics, producing a range of green hues.
    • Pear trees can serve as ornamental plants, with their attractive blossoms making them popular for landscaping and garden design.
    • The sturdy wood from the pear tree is sometimes used in furniture-making, noted for its durability.
    • Dried pears can be ground into flour and used as a gluten-free option for baking or thickening sauces.
    • When pruned correctly, pear branches can be fashioned into walking sticks or other crafted wooden items.
    • Pear fruit pulp can be incorporated into skincare products as a natural moisturizer due to its hydrating properties.
    • As a natural sweetener, pear juice concentrate can be used in a variety of recipes as a sugar substitute.
    • The leaves and twigs of the pear tree, when mixed with other compostable materials, can contribute to a rich, fertile compost for gardening.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Pear Tree is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Pear Tree is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Abundance: Pear trees, the species to which 'Onward' belongs, have been symbols of abundance and fertility due to their plentiful fruit production and long history of cultivation.
    • Longevity: As pear trees can live for many years and still bear fruit, they evoke a sense of long life and endurance.
    • Hope: The pear tree blossoms early in spring, symbolizing the hope and renewal that comes with the season.
    • Love & Affection: In some cultures, pear trees and their fruit represent love and affection, perhaps due to their sweet, nurturing fruit and the tree's generosity.
    • Health: Pears are known for their nutritious benefits, representing good health and well-being.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Late winter to early spring
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The common pear tree 'Onward' requires consistent moisture, especially during the growing season. Water the tree deeply once a week, providing about 2 inches of water each time, which is roughly equivalent to 15 gallons for a mature tree. During hot and dry spells, you may need to increase the frequency to twice a week. It's important to avoid overwatering as this can lead to root rot; ensure that the soil drains well. Reduce watering in the winter months when the tree is dormant.

  • sunLight

    The common pear tree 'Onward' thrives best in full sunlight, with at least six hours of direct, unfiltered daylight each day. Choose an open space away from tall buildings or shadows cast by other trees to ensure it receives ample light. Adequate sunlight is crucial for the health of the tree and maximizes fruit production.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The common pear tree 'Onward' is hardy and can withstand a broad range of temperatures. It can survive winter temperatures as low as -20°F and during the growing season prefers a temperature between 65°F and 75°F. However, the tree is at risk when temperatures drop below -20°F or soar above 90°F. It's crucial to provide a location that avoids extreme temperature fluctuations.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the common pear tree 'Onward' is essential to maintain its shape, remove dead or diseased branches, and encourage fruit production. Pruning should be performed in late winter or early spring before new growth starts. Thin out the branches to ensure good airflow and sunlight penetration, and remove any suckers growing at the base or along the trunk. Prune yearly to promote health and productivity.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for the 'Onward' Pear is well-draining, fertile, and loamy, with a pH ranging from 6.0 to 7.0 to ensure optimal growth and fruit production.

  • plantRepotting

    'Onward' Pears, being larger fruit trees, are not commonly repotted. They are usually planted outdoors where they do not require frequent repotting.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    'Onward' Pears prefer outdoor conditions where humidity is not strictly controlled; they are adaptable to average ambient humidity levels.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Pears like 'Onward' are not ideal for indoor cultivation; they need outdoor space.

    • Outdoor

      Plant 'Onward' Pear in a sunny spot with well-drained soil for best growth.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Pyrus communis 'Onward', commonly known as the 'Onward' pear tree, begins its life as a seed, which after stratification, germinates in spring. The seedling stage follows, where the young plant develops roots, shoots, and basic leaves. As the tree enters the juvenile phase, it grows more vigorously, establishing a strong root system and branching structure. Once mature, which can take several years, the 'Onward' pear tree enters its reproductive stage, blooming with white flowers in early spring; these flowers, if pollinated, will develop into pears. The tree will fruit annually, typically in late summer to fall, after which the leaves may turn yellow or brown and fall off as it enters dormancy during the winter season. With proper care, pruning, and favorable conditions, the tree can live and produce fruit for many decades.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late winter to early spring

    • The common pear, Pyrus communis 'Onward', is most commonly propagated by grafting which is typically carried out in late winter or early spring. Grafting involves joining a piece of the pear tree, known as a scion, with a rootstock that determines the size and vigor of the tree. The scion, which is a mature twig from a healthy pear tree, should be about 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 centimeters) long and contain several buds. This is meticulously spliced onto the rootstock using a method known as bench grafting or whip and tongue grafting, both of which create a strong union between the scion and rootstock if performed correctly. The joint is then sealed with grafting tape or wax to prevent dehydration and infection by pathogens. After grafting, the new plants are carefully monitored and maintained in a nursery setting until they are robust enough for planting out.