Burford Pear is more round than pyriform with greenish yellow skin and a pinkish blush when fully ripe. Sometimes there is russeting. The flesh is yellowish, crisp with moderately coarse texture. An all-purpose pear, it is suitable for eating fresh, canning and preserving and for making perry and pear vinegar. The tree is resistant to fireblight (a bacterial disease) and produces a full crop annually. In April 2003, the following narrative by Tom Burford, American fruit historian and descendant of the pear’s originator, appeared in Pomona, the quarterly journal of the North American Fruit Explorers (NAFEX): ‘Burford Pear was a selection from my great-grandfather’s orchard that undoubtedly he found outstanding because of it flavor, ripening quality, tree stamina and above all resistance to fireblight and pear psylla. It is also likely to be a genetic dwarf, but this is currently at test at Vintage Virginia Orchards in North Garden, VA, where it is grafted on both pear stocks and quince. A 75 to 100-year-old tree was my childhood backyard favorite pear tree, growing between the row of outhouses and the gas generator house that piped ‘light’ to the main house. Its companion was a Slappy peach, a huge juicy bomb that I enjoyed hurling into the chicken pens to watch frenetic chicken pecking its delectable flesh. This about 17-foot tree (I measured it a number of times before cutting the top out) has extraordinarily limber branches. With a full load of from 17 to 20 bushels the unfruited limbs nearly head-high would bend to the ground with mature fruit without breakage. In 1954 Hurricane Hazel blew the tree to a 45-degree angle, but it was righted by a sling around its trunk with the aid of our faithful Ford 8N tractor and produced it usual full crop of pears. For nearly 60 years I enjoyed the pears canned from this tree. The ripening time for harvest is forgiving and even when fully ripe on the tree or gathered from windfalls the pears are usable for dessert, canning and pickling. A family recipe for pear-pineapple jam is especially memorable with only fresh pineapples, a luxury, used. The most significant use of the Burford pear is fresh canned. They are peeled, cored and packed in quart jars with a light syrup poured over; then processed. The color remains white. In the winter they become a favorite dessert, plain or stuffed with Arborio rice and fruits like canned figs or berries or just cheese with a few dashes of port wine. Hickory or walnuts are also good stuffings.’ This variety likely originated in Amherst County, VA in the late 1800s. One planting of 100 trees designated for pear brandy making is beginning to bear (2009) and other smaller plantings for fresh fruit marketing also are just beginning to produce fruit. Dozens of backyard planting have been made nationally from the nursery stock shipments from the Vintage Virginia Apples in North Garden, VA.