TO THE Amory family, the century-old pear tree in their backyard represents many wonderful things: a shady place to rest on summer afternoons, a source of delicious fruit and a place of magical child’s play.
It produces a waterfall of white flowers every spring and dwarfs the other fruit trees in the garden.
Mark and Adele Amory, who bought the Mt Rowan property two years ago, believe the 12-metre high monster could be one of the oldest pear trees in Victoria.
“We always planned on moving up here and when we saw the house it made the decision for us,” Ms Amory said. “It was stunning. The tree had about a thousand pears on the ground. We had an arborist here and he said it was a particularly old tree but he couldn’t estimate without cutting it.”
While thought to be around 100 years old, the pear tree may have been planted as far back as 1863 when the house was built. Ms Amory said it produced “the most beautiful” pears.
“When you cook them they’re just gorgeous,” Ms Amory said.
When the tree is producing fruit, the family bottles as many pears as they can and cook them in fruit crumbles.
Meanwhile, their daughter Sophie, 4, calls it her “fairy tree” because of several flat spaces on its bark where branches used to be.
“She thinks they’re doors to her fairy house,” Ms Amory said.