The pear-tree delights in rich soils and gentle declivities ; but will not thrive in moist situations. It.resists the severest frosts ; its wood is smooth, light, and com-pact; and is used in considerable quantities by turners, for making carpenter's or joiner's tools, and for picture-frames, which are stained black, in imitation of ebony. The leaves impart a yellow dye, and are sometimes employed to communicate a green colour to blue cloth :-they are eaten by horses, cows, sheep, and goats.
In a wild state, the fruit of the pear-tree has an austere and unpleasant taste ; but, when cultivated, it is highly grateful 3 and skilful gardeners have obtained not less than 1500 varieties, by inoculating, inarching, engrafting, etc. the common wild stock, with scions of other fruit-bearing trees. —The most valuable of these, whether for the dessert, or for culinary purposes, we have already specified, under the article Okchard (pp. 301 and foll, of die present volume), and shall therefore confine our account to the bcst method of rearing them, and to a concise view of their properties.
All the varieties of this tree are hardy, and will succeed in any common garden-soil, provided it be open and dry. They are propagated by engrafting, and by budding, or inoculating either upon free storks, that is, such as have been raised from seed, or upon quince-stocks: the latter, however, require a rich and moist soil. Sometimes the scions are engrafted on medlars, in order to render them dwarfs ; and nursery-men have also ventured to bud them on white or hawthorns, when there has been a scarcity of original or free-stocks. Rut such practice ought to be adopted only in cases of real necessity 3 as it renders the fruit stony, and otherwise diminishes its value. The relative salubrity of pears depends not less on the state of ripeness, or immaturity, in which they are used, than on their different properties ; some of them being hard, astringent, and difficult of digestion.— The more juicy ones, however, possess a saccharine fluid, which does not oppress the stomach : nevertheless, all the varieties are more flatulent than apples, plums, or the generality of fruit; and winter-pears are particularly liable to such inconvenience; as they are commonly eaten at a period of the year, when the stomach requires stimulating, rather than cooling, nourishment.
Independently of their utility for domestic or culinary purposes, pears (if managed in a similar manner with apples for making Cyder) afford a pleasant liquor, known under the name of Perry. The best fruits for this purpose are those of Bosbury and Bareland, in the county of Worcester, and the Squash-Pear, as it is termed, in Gloucestershire ; to which may he added the varieties known under the names of the John, Harpary, Drake, Lullum, and Horse-Pears. All these, being reared in hedges, are so extremely harsh and tart, that no person can eat them in a fresh state ; and they are refused even by bogs.—Perry is subject to the same duties as cyder, which have been stated pp. 113-14,of our second volume.