Two trees come into flower at the same time in early spring. The Common Pear has white flowers and the Norway Maple has green flowers. Viewed from a distance one tree looks white and the other green.
The Common Pear, also known as the Wild Pear, is probably of West Asian origin. It has been planted in parks, orchards and gardens and is occasionally found in hedgerows. There are hundreds of varieties of Pear, cultivated for their edible fruit. The leaves are toothed and glossy and variable in shape. The bark is deeply cracked into squares. The white flowers come out before the leaves in March/April. The fruit ripens by September.
The flowers come out in March/April at the same time as the leaves, usually two weeks before the Apple. Pear flowers have deep red anthers but Crab Apple flowers have yellow anthers.
The Norway Maple is native to Europe, from Scandinavia to the Caucasus. It was introduced to Britain in 1683 and is now commonly found in gardens, streets and parks. It is one of the first trees to look green in spring, when its green flowers open before the leaves. It has the 5-lobed leaf typical of the Maple family but differs from the Field Maple and Sycamore in that its lobes and teeth have finely pointed tips. It has a winged fruit like all maples but the wings hang down at an angle whereas on the Field Maple they are flat.
The tree is one of the first trees to go green in spring but not with new leaves. Green flowers appear before the leaves and give the tree a green appearance in March or early April. The flower clusters burst out of the bud before the leaves.