Pears are related to apples, and most of the horticultural requirements and challenges of apples apply also to growing pear trees. However pear trees are a bit more demanding than apple trees - they prefer slightly warmer conditions and are a bit less tolerant of soil and situation, and crop yields are lower.
On the plus side, pear trees are less susceptible to the various pests and diseases commonly experienced with apples.
When it comes to flavour, pears have an aura of exclusivity which you don't tend to find in apples.
Although there are some culinary pear varieties, all the ones we offer are dessert pears - good for eating fresh, but also useful for culinary purposes too.
Pears are fundamentally self-sterile so will require a pollination partner, in other words a compatible pear tree of a different variety growing nearby. Even the varieties we list as self-fertile will be far more productive with a pollination partner. Conference is probably the only pear variety that is reliably self-fertile.
Most European and Asian pears are genetically compatible, but most Asian pears flower ahead of European ones so in practice cross-pollination is not usually reliable.