Posted: Yesterday at 21:12
I had exactly the same thing happen to me last year. I had bought the tree from a reputable garden centre but not one that specialised in fruit trees. My tree was about three years old, growing well and it fell over in a gale despite being well tied to a stake. I couldn't understand it.
I made enquiries about pear tree rootstocks and discovered that Williams pears are not compatible with certain rootstocks and have to be "double worked" In other words, they have to be grafted onto another type of tree which is, in its turn, grafted onto the rootstock. You should see two lumps on the stem rather than the usual one lump.
The reason for this is that Williams pear wood creates a chemical which produces cyanide. This cyanide is what kills the cells around the graft. The scion and rootstock no longer speak to each other. They part company.
I contacted the garden centre and sent them a copy of my receipt (I keep receipts!) and told them about the faulty workmanship. They refunded my money straightaway.
I no longer have a Williams pear but if I ever did buy one I would make sure that it had been double worked.