Historically, an important domestic hardwood throughout Europe, Swiss Pear is known for its fine, straight grains and smooth, consistent texture, as well as its pink coloration (which naturally ranges from pale to light to medium). Once cut, the wood’s hues intensify as it oxidizes. Swiss Pear is commonly steamed, to provide a more smooth, consistent pink color, and to relieve stress within the wood, so it dries flat.
Its easy, cooperative working properties combined with its consistent texture and color make it loved by craftsmen, carvers and turners, alike. It is highly regarded all over Europe, and considered by many to be the region’s finest hardwood, boasting properties similar to rosewood.
Sustainability: Not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Common Uses: Veneer, architectural millwork, marquetry, furniture, cabinetry, inlay, carving, musical instruments (flutes, violins), and turned objects.
Comments: The wood is considered a premium hardwood in Europe, and one of economic importance. Its steady demand there equates to very little of it making it to the US. (Species of the Pyrus Communis tree have been transplanted all over the United States, primarily for its fruit production — the “Bartlett Pear.”) European furniture and cabinet makers utilize it in much the same way as American craftsman do Black Cherry.
Pear is decidedly non-durable; all of its applications are thus confined to interior. The wood has a tendency to dull cutters, so sharp blades are recommended for resawing.