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A specimen of Pyrus communis, the pear tree, was collected for the Darwin Tree of Life project by Dr Markus Ruhsam at the Hermitage of Braid in Edinburgh on the 31st May 2022. Although not native to the British Isles, pears were introduced over a thousand years ago, and can now be found growing wild across the region. Subject of the old proverb “plant pears for your heirs”, pears are long-lived trees that traditionally took many years to mature and bear fruit. While they are also well worth growing for their large early blossoms, the concept of planning and planting for the future, and taking actions that will benefit the next generations, is more relevant now than ever.


The Twelve Days of DToL