WHITE PEAR | Witpeer | Apodytes Dimidiata
In South Africa, the White Pear is widely distributed in both coastal and montane, evergreen forest, occuring along the eastern escarpment, reaching its best development in the Knysna region.
White pear can reach up to a height of 25m in the forest, but is smaller when growing in the open.
The stem is usually long and straight, and the crown is small. Older stems often develop coppice shoots.
The bark is pale grey or whitish and rather smooth with large grey, brown or orange patches, usually with horizontal markings. On young branches the bark can be smooth and pinkish to purplish, with a ridge running down from either side of the leaf stalk. In the forest the trunks can grow up to 2,5m in diameter..
Tree can reach up to 25m in the forest, but is smaller growing in the open
Wood is pale an close-grained, very fine and even textured
Timber is suitable for furniture, cabinetry, joinery, interior trimming, musical instruments, gun stocks, decorative items, carving and turnery
The heartwood is yellowish- to pinkish-brown and the sapwood is grey and indistinct. The wood is pale and close-grained, with uneven brown shades. It is straight-grained, very fine and even textured, strong and elastic, hard and heavy, with little or no figure. Centres of the logs are often marked by darker wood, the result of incipient decay.
The wood saws without difficulty to true edges. It planes to a lustrous, smooth finish. The wood has good nailing properties, glues well and polishes to a high finish. The wood has good bending properties and is excellent for turning.
Using the wood
These trees used to be very abundant in the Knysna forests, where they used to be an important source of wood. Today white pear is still much sought after, although the pith may often be rotten.
The wood is remarkably hard for its density and is suitable for furniture, cabinetry, joinery, interior trimming, musical instruments, gun stocks, decorative items, carving and turnery. Also recommended for domestic flooring, boat building, sports equipment, drawing instruments and tables. Formerly one of the most valued wagon-woods where this wood was considered the most suitable for cart and wagon felloes.