Common Name(s): Pear, Swiss Pear
Scientific Name: Pyrus communis
Distribution: Native to central and eastern Europe;
Tree Size: 20-30 ft (6-9 m) tall, .5-1 ft (15-30 cm) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight: 43 lbs/ft3 (690 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .52, .69
Janka Hardness: 1,660 lbf (7,380 N)
Modulus of Rupture: 12,080 lbf/in2 (83.3 MPa)
Elastic Modulus: 1,131,000 lbf/in2 (7.80 GPa)
Crushing Strength: 6,400 lbf/in2 (44.1 MPa)
Shrinkage: Radial: 3.9%, Tangential: 11.3%, Volumetric: 13.8%, T/R Ratio: 2.9
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; small pores in no specific arrangement, very numerous; exclusively solitary; heartwood mineral/gum deposits (reddish brown) occasionally present, though not easily visible with lens; narrow to medium rays not visible without lens; parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates, though not clearly observable with hand lens.
Rot Resistance: Rated as non-durable regarding decay resistance.
Workability: Overall easy to work with both hand and machine tools. Turns, glues, and finishes well.
Odor: No characteristic odor.
Allergies/Toxicity: Besides the standard health risks associated with any type of wood dust, no further health reactions have been associated with Pear. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.
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.
Scans/Pictures: A special thanks to Steve Earis for providing the turned photo of this wood species.