Common Name(s): Pear, Swiss Pear

Scientific Name: Pyrus communis

Distribution: Native to central and eastern Europe; also widely planted throughout temperate regions worldwide

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Color/Appearance: Heartwood is a pale pink or light reddish brown. Sapwood is slightly paler but is not usually distinct from heartwood. Pear is sometimes steamed to deepen the pink coloration. Pear is also occasionally dyed black and used as a substitute for ebony.

Grain/Texture: Grain is usually straight, with a very fine uniform texture.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; very small pores in no specific arrangement (very numerous); exclusively solitary; heartwood mineral/gum deposits (reddish brown) occasionally present; growth rings distinct; rays not visible without lens; parenchyma not clearly observable with hand lens.

Workability: Overall easy to work with both hand and machine tools. Turns, glues, and finishes well.

Pricing/Availability: A popular and premium hardwood in Europe, Pear is only availability in limited quantities in the United States. Larger logs are usually turned into veneer for architectural purposes. Expect lumber and veneer prices to be high for an imported European hardwood.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses: Veneer, architectural millwork, marquetry, inlay, carving, musical instruments, furniture, cabinetry, and turned objects.

Comments: It’s been said that Pear is used in Europe much in the same way that Black Cherry is used in the United States: as a popular and high-quality domestic hardwood.