• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Pyrus communis 'Onward' (D)

pear 'Onward'

pear 'Onward'

© RHS 1999

  • Other common names pear 'Onward'

  • Family Rosaceae

  • Genus Pyrus are deciduous trees or shrubs with oval leaves and scented white flowers in spring, followed by green or brown fruits, edible in some species

  • Details

    'Onward' has a sweet, rich, buttery flesh, somewhat like an early Comice. Good, regular crops with a short fruiting season of September to early October. Pollination group 4


  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Columnar/Upright

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)




  • Full Sun

  • Aspect South-facing or West-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered


  • Loam


  • Clay


  • Sand


  • MoistureWell-drained, Moist but well-drained

  • SoilLoam, Clay, Sand

  • pHNeutral


  • Ultimate height 4-8 metres

  • Ultimate spread 4-8 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 5-10 years

How to grow

Cultivation Suitable for all training forms including cordons and fan-training. Flowers early and so at risk from spring frosts. Plant in a sunny position in moist, but well-drained soil. Needs another cultivar for pollination. Keep a weed free area of 60cm radius around the trunk. Thin fruit if necessary. Not compatible for pollination purposes with 'Doyenne du Comice'

Propagation Propagate by grafting or chip budding onto a clonal rootstock for fruit; quince rootstocks are usually used. The rootstock used will affect plant size

Suggested planting locations and garden types Wall-side Borders

How to care

Pruning Regular pruning required; a spur bearer. Prune cordons and other restricted forms in summer and bushes in winter. Further pruning advice: pruning new pear trees, summer pear pruning, winter pear pruning, renovating pear trees, pruning established fans

Pests May be attacked by aphids, caterpillars, codling moth, bullfinches, pear midge, pear blister mite and pear and cherry slugworm

Diseases Prone to pear scab. Can be affected by pear rust, brown rot, blossom wilt and fireblight

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