My opinion is Potomac, Magness, Harrow Sweet, Harrow Delight etc. Are all good choices for fairly care free pears. The quality of these pears is good but the disease resistance is excellent. Consider Korean Giant and Drippin’ Honey as good Asian pears.
You are in Oklahoma, so assume that fire blight will be a challenge, but chilling hours shouldn’t be a problem for you. By reputation the fire blight resistant variety most like Anjou in flavor is Potomac. I’m going by reputation here. I haven’t had one. Anjou is a parent variety.
I don’t know of anyone with Golden Boy that far north. It’s a super reliable, highly productive soft low chill variety originally found at a homestead in Wasilla County Florida and made available to the public by Just Fruits and Exotics. For South Georgia and North Florida I would say it may be the surest bet. It reminds me of the Bartlett pears in the store, but it’s a little meatier. The flavor of Southern Bartlett might be a little better when its ripened in the refrigerator, but Golden Boy does not have to be ripened in the frig and it keeps a little longer.
Warren and Magness are very similar to each other and are both supposedly a lot like Comice, a super high quality variety that’s very susceptible to fire blight. Warren is supposedly a little more reliable further south, but the quality of Magness is supposedly slightly better; however, it’s pollen sterile and has a reputation for being slow to produce and not very productive when it does produce. As Clark commented, consider Asian pears as something quite different from the pears in the grocery stores. I don’t know anything about Dripping Honey, but Korean Giant has a good reputation for quality and fire blight resistance, and so does Shinko.
Clark has more experience with pears than I do, and his climate is probably closer to yours than mine is, so I would consider his advice with a lot of weight. Just remember, if you get Magness you need a third variety that blooms at the same time as Magness and it’s other pollination partner because Magness does not contribute any viable pollen to the little love triangle. God bless.
Oklahoma has a lot of wild pears growing so I would graft those. Last time I was headed to Owasso / Tulsa I saw huge numbers of wild callery along the roads. Duchess grafts easily to callery.
Yes Clark callery is a n aweful weedy tree here. Thanks KS for the ideas that helps a lot. One thing I’ll add is I need trees that won’t bloom too early also. Without fail we get right right now and everything wakes up only to be froze in March and April. A couple of my peaches are sweeping right now. 76 today and closer to 80 this weekend. I’m sure they will open quickly with those temps.
A lot of Asian pears are very late bloomers.
If you have any big callery you might take a look at this post from last year Top working Pears weather permitting
Great post. My new place doesn’t have any but the home I’m at now has some huge callery.
I’m grafting Red Rogue this year which is a gorgeous pear from what I’ve seen. Apparently a very delicious one too. It’s a cross of comice x seckel/farmingdale seedling that is a vibrant red in color. It may not be great for my area but time will tell.
Potomac has a reputation as the disease resistant D’Anjou.
I’m with you about the grit issue. I’m not a big pear fan either. My family likes pears but if I had my druthers I’d not have a pear tree in the orchard. I know there are a few non gritty pears out there but usually they are soft and mushy, another turn off for me. I may be destined not to eat pears. If you know of any non-gritty pears that are not mushy PLEASE let me know. I’d be more than willing to put one of those in the orchard.
You really need to try Asian pears such as Drippin honey and Korean Giant because they are exactly what you describe as your perfect pear.
I was under the assumption the Asian pears are lacking flavor. I tried a few in the store and they were just “okay”. With your reply I may have to rethink this and get one of the two you mentioned. TY!!
Thanks Clark, we tried some Korean Giant at the orchard last year. They were OK, my wife who likes pears more, thought the same, so I don’t think it’s enough to get a tree. We also tried Hosui, which were soft, hardly any flavor, so not too impressed with those. The Meigeitsu (sp?) was better flavored of all the Asian pears we tried, but don’t know if we’d try any here. I haven’t had a Dripping Honey, so I can’t comment on those.
If we can get a Maxine tree, I think that’d be good enough for us. They are also called a Starking Delicious, so I may have to get one from Stark Bros. Cummins had some, but are now out of them, that’s what I get for dragging my feet! I don’t know what rootstock Stark’s standard pear tree is on, but I did send them an email asking what they use. Still haven’t heard from them.
Is there a Euro pear that is close to the Maxine in texture and taste? Oh sorry, I just re-read your comment above about Potomac, Magness and the Harrow’s… Any others, tho? Thanks.
A lot is about location but Potomac is said to be a quality pear at almost any location. KG is a good pear in most cases.
Just an update on the pears I added for the first time or more of based on the previous years analysis was a long list! Primarily I dealt with Singing tree and the USDA this year. Pears such as Farmingdale may lack commercial potential but I may find advantages to growing them on a small scale. There is a distinct possibility I will use farmingdale for breeding and interstems long term. These are additional pears I’m growing.
Ayer not Ayers
Duchesse d’Angouleme Bronzee
Fondante De Moulins Lille
Doyenne du Comice
Well Clark, you will be the Midwest pears back up for the USDA in Corvallis,Oregon.
how many acres is your pear orchard going to be
3 acres roughly.
Going back to the pears as vegetables–I have a recipe service I use occasionally, and the other month they sent me a recipe that involved cooking pears up in quinoa and serving the meat over top. The pears they sent were Seckels, but they weren’t ripe at all. They were hard as rocks and tasted slightly starchy. Yet after I cooked them up with the quinoa, they were quite savory. It was very good.
Scott had just posted a list of recommended fruit trees for various regions from the 1900s. For the region encompassing southern GA, they recommended White Doyenne and Winter Nelis. Anyone Grow these in GA or a similar climate?