25 Harrow pear varieties

And now I am seeing from your other thread that you are still hot for Harrow Sweet… it still being on your top 10 list of disease-resistant pears.



Harrow delight is delicious here , but we have lots of heat which helps. Harrow sweet is better.

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What a great thread!



Thank you that is very kind of you to say.

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Glad to hear that. I have a few of them that have not fruited yet.

Anyone know the name of the one that is supposed to be like a knock off Comice?

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Comice was not their objective but rather bartlett flavor was what they were looking for. Here are a few old topics on harrow pears.


As an example

"Harrow Crisp is an attractive early-season pear. It ripens at the same time as Bartlett, and has a similar mild sweet flavor, but the fruit size is slightly larger and the yellow skin with red / orange blush is considerably more attractive than Bartlett.

It is usually eaten fresh, but can also be used for baking.

Harrow Crisp was developed specifically to be resistant to fireblight.

Harrow Crisp (also known as AC Harrow Crisp) was developed in the 1970s at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada research station in Harrow, Ontario. As with many modern varieties the parentage is complex, but one of its immediate parents is Bartlett, and the other parent is also closely related to Bartlett. It can therefore be considered an improved Bartlett.

Harrow Crisp characteristics

  • Gardening skillAverage
  • Self-fertilityNot self-fertile
  • Pollination group3
  • Pollinating othersAverage
  • PloidyDiploid
  • Bearing regularityRegular
  • Fruit bearingSpur-bearer
  • WildlifeRHS Plants for Pollinators
  • Picking seasonEarly
  • UsesEating freshCulinary
  • CroppingGood
  • Keeping (of fruit)2-3 weeks
  • General resistanceGood
  • FireblightVery resistant
  • Cold hardiness (USDA)(5) -20F / -29C
  • Summer maximum temperaturesWarm (25-30C / 76-85F)
  • Country of originCanada
  • Period of origin1950 - 1999
  • Flesh colourCream
  • Fruit colorGreen / YellowOrange flush
  • Fruit sizeAverage

Harrow Crisp is in most respects an ideal backyard pear tree - easy to grow, productive, very cold-hardy, and resistant to fireblight.

Its one drawback is that (like most pears) it is not self-fertile. Furthermore, it will not reliably cross-pollinate with Bartlett or its many close relatives.


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This explains well what happened. It is an old article and many pdf’s and articles have been pulled now.

" Pear breeding north of the border

Canada’s pear breeding program has three new fireblight-resistant pears in the pipeline.

September 2010 Issue

Richard Lehnert // September 1, 2010

Harovin Sundown (tested as HW614) originated from a cross of Bartlett and an unnamed U.S. selection made in 1972. The pear, which is larger than Bartlett, was named and released in 2008.

Harovin Sundown (tested as HW614) originated from a cross of Bartlett and an unnamed U.S. selection made in 1972. The pear, which is larger than Bartlett, was named and released in 2008.

North America’s two public pear-breeding programs are not very far apart physically—less than 400 miles—but there’s an international border between them that has larger effects than the miles or kilometers would indicate.

“It makes it hard to exchange germplasm, that’s one effect,” said David Hunter.

But it doesn’t much impede the sharing of ideas. “When Richard and I get together, it’s an international meeting of the North American pear breeders,” Dr. Hunter said, jokingly.

Hunter is the pear breeder for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, working from his research station at Vineland, Ontario. From nearby Niagara Falls, it’s a straight shot south to Richard Bell’s program at USDA’s Appalachian Fruit Research Station at Kearneysville, West Virginia.

The two programs are quite similar.

Both are located on the moist and humid east side of countries where major pear production is on the arid west side. Between 40 and 50 percent of Canada’s pear production is in the Niagara Peninsula of Ontario, and more than half lies west in British Columbia. But when it comes to farm-gate value, Ontario wins hands down.

High quality

Both programs are focused on adding new varieties that will augment the very popular Bartlett while avoiding its problems. The desire is to find varieties with high fruit quality, like Bartlett, that taste similar but harvest earlier or later and store well.

Both are releasing new varieties now and will release more over the next few years. Many of them have spent 30 years or more in the breeding and evaluation process.

New varieties from either program, once they have passed virus-testing protocols in Prosser, Washington, or the Canadian Fruit Inspection Agency in British ­Columbia, can be sold to growers by nurseries in either country.

In 2008, Hunter released Harovin Sundown, a pear that took over 35 years to develop from a cross made in 1972. Its release was timely and was looked at as a rescue for Ontario pear growers who had just lost their processing market for Bartletts. The processor CanGro, the only processor east of the Rocky Mountains, closed its doors, affecting peach and pear producers in Ontario and western New York.

The goal was to give growers a larger pear that would sell well in fresh markets and at the same time be resistant to fireblight. Sundown pears size up better than Bartlett and produce more fruit. Some glitches have slowed down the commercialization process, so growers have not yet replanted with this new pear. But it’s still on track to become an alternative to Bartlett as more trees become available.

Meanwhile, Hunter has plunged ahead with his release program. In 2009, he applied for Canadian Plant Breeder’s Rights on HW623, an experimental ­variety that has garnered good reviews from evaluators. Two other new cultivars are going through the Plant Breeder’s Rights process this year. He’s working on the releases and the plant variety protection details. “I’m not at liberty to talk about them now,” he said.

All of the cultivars from Vineland have fireblight resistance at the level of Kieffer, Hunter said—all above 9 on the 10-point USDA scale. The highly susceptible Bartlett is rated 3 to 4.

Sundown rates about 9.3, Hunter said. That means in a fireblight-epidemic year, the tree might take a few strikes, but these seal off and don’t move down the tree. “It’s nothing to worry about,” Hunter said.

Compare that with what happened in one Clapp’s Favorite orchard in a bad fireblight year. “After waiting five years for the tree to come into production, we had blight at blossom time, and by the end of the year the trees were dead. The blight killed five-year-old trees to the ground in one year,” Hunter said.


Hunter took over the Canadian program in 1988, when it was located at Harrow on the north shore of Lake Erie, about 30 minutes southeast of Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit, Michigan. The program there started in the 1960s, and its mission was focused by the fireblight epidemic years in the early 1970s. In the mid-1990s, Hunter was called upon to develop a five-year plan to transfer it all to Vineland. Harrow is still home to the Canadian Clonal Gene Bank, but the breeding work in apples, pears, peaches, and small fruits is now at Vineland.

Harrow Sweet was introduced in the early 1980s. Since he took over the program, Hunter introduced AC Harrow Gold and AC Harrow Crisp in 2002, and then Harovin Sundown in 2008. The first name is a combination of Harrow and Vineland.

The new varieties he’s working on not only have high fireblight resistance and good fruit quality, but one of them is resistant also to pear psylla. Psylla causes some feeding damage on pears, but its major effects are in passing on pear decline disease and creating honeydew that drips onto fruit. Invading microorganisms produce a sooty black residue that greatly reduces fresh market value but leaves the fruit useful for processing.

Other qualities he looks for in pears include precocity, tree size, cold ­hardiness, and fruit storability.

Hunter said he makes 15 to 20 crosses per year. Each cross of about 200 flowers results in anywhere from 0 to 500 viable seeds, he said, depending on fertility and compatibility issues. But overall, he should have 2,000 or so unique seedlings to test each year.

They’re planted in the greenhouse, he said, and their first test is for fireblight resistance. They are inoculated with high levels of the disease.

Seedlings that survive this screening test are planted in the field, and they then have a long juvenile phase—up to 10 years—followed by two to three years of fruiting and propagating tests, followed by more years of testing in the orchard.

Hunter’s research also focuses on orchard management strategies such as improved performance of rootstocks and training systems to meet industry requirements for smaller trees and high-density production for both fresh market and ­processing varieties."


We can see why the new harrow pears are popular

" Come on, get Happi

A precocious summer pear with a wide window of eating quality looks to find a spot in the supermarket.

December 2021 Issue

Kate Prengaman // December 29, 2021

A Canadian-bred pear variety, HW 624, awaits harvest in a Quincy, Washington, block in late August. It’s the first commercial harvest for the fruit, marketed as the Happi Pear by Stemilt Growers, which holds the exclusive U.S. license to the pears.(TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

This fall, Stemilt Growers harvested its first commercial crop of the Happi Pear, launching one of the first proprietary pear marketing campaigns in the U.S.

The launch serves as a test case to see if new varieties can help to reinvigorate a long-lagging category.

“The thing that we got really excited about with Happi is that we would be able to brand a pear and market it differently than pears are marketed,” said Brianna Shales, Stemilt’s marketing director.

Unlike the apple market, the pear category remains dominated by traditional European cultivars, and consumers want to try something new, she said. And managing a proprietary pear allows for controlling quality to build demand for it.


Growers hope Cold Snap pears, shown here in an Ontario orchard in 2016, can restart the Canadian pear industry thanks to their fire blight tolerance and high-density production. (Courtesy Vineland Growers Cooperative)New Canadian pear varieties are fire blight tolerant

The pear itself is not so new. The cultivar, HW 624, was bred decades ago by the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada breeding program in Harrow, Ontario, which also produced several fire blight-resistant cultivars, including Harrow Sweet, Harrow Crisp and the Harovin Sundown, now marketed as Cold Snap. In 2013, the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre inherited the breeding program’s advance selections and began to explore opportunities for commercialization. Cold Snap began commercial promotions in Canada about five years ago, and another pear, HW 623, or Dewdrop, is under development.

“This is Canadian-bred fruit we want to showcase around the world,” said Ian Potter, Vineland’s CEO. The center also has thousands of apple selections in its breeding program, but new pears have a better opportunity to break into a less-crowded marketplace, he said. “There’s a gap on store shelves of the quality people will buy again and again. I think Cold Snap is one, Happi is definitely one, and we’re looking at if Dewdrop might be one, too.”

Vineland relies on market intelligence as it develops new varieties, Potter said, and the consistent quality, flavor and texture help the Happi Pear stand out.

“I’ve had a love-hate relationship with pears in the past, because they turn into mush,” he said. “I’ve never had a bad one of these.”


Pear breeding north of the border

Happi Pear counts as a grandparent the Bartlett, which has a narrow window of perfect eating quality. However, Happi offers more flexibility.

“The other thing that’s really exciting is that you can eat it when it’s green and firm, because it’s sweet and flavorful, or eat it when it’s soft and yellow,” Shales said. “There’s nothing worse than a consumer coming home, waiting to eat something, and they have a bad experience.”

The texture is just a little different from Bartlett, firmer even when soft, and the sweet flavor has a hint of lemon, she added.

So far, the reception has been good, Shales said. With just 260 bins to market this year, Stemilt opted to work with a few smaller retailers to test introductions of the Happi Pear and its bright, playful purple branding.

The variety offers horticultural advantages, too, said Rob Blakey, Stemilt’s research and development director who runs extensive variety trials for the company. It has tolerance to some key pests, grows well in higher-density plantings, around 900 trees per acre, he said, and is pretty precocious.

“You don’t have to plant pears for your heirs. You can crop it like an apple, which is pretty exciting,” Blakey said. “Looking at the economics, it makes a big difference to get the orchard cropping early.”

Like a lot of other Harrow pears, Happi Pear is fire blight tolerant. It’s not resistant, but infections are less common, and strikes that do occur don’t run and spread. The cultivar also appears to be psylla tolerant, although the mechanism isn’t fully understood yet, Blakey said.

Blakey and Shales were circumspect about Stemilt’s plans to grow the program, but if growers are interested, Blakey encouraged them to reach out.


New pear is twice as nice

“We’re cautious, but we’re excited about it,” he said. Introducing a new pear may be a difficult proposition. “But people love good eating pears. We just have to deliver good eating pears to grow the category.”

And by and large, the pear industry is doing that with better handling of existing cultivars, he said. He sees this new branded program as part of the industrywide effort to deliver better pears to consumers and rebuild a reputation for consistent quality.

While Stemilt holds the exclusive U.S. license, Canadian growers are planting HW 624 trees as well, Potter said, and will market them under the same Happi Pear brand that Vineland and Stemilt developed together. Vineland is also working on commercializing the variety beyond North America.

by Kate Prengaman

Back to the list, i’m finding it very difficult to track down a few of these.

HW 600 unamed above
HW 601 unamed above
HW 602 harvest queen
HW 603 harrow delight
HW 604 unamed above
HW 605 unamed above
HW 606 bliss
HW 607
HW 608 delicious
HW 609 harrow sweet
HW 610 harrow crisp
HW 611 unreleased
HW 612
HW 613
HW 614 sundown
HW 615 unreleased
HW 616 harrow gold
HW 617 unreleased
HW 618
HW 619 unreleased
HW 620 unamed above
HW 621 unreleased
HW 622 unreleased
HW 623 happi
HW 624 dew drop


Robert- As Clark says, the Harrow folks were trying to make disease-resistant Bartlett-like pears.

If you want a disease-resistant Comice-like pear, try growing Magness. It was bred in Maryland and tastes and smells similar to Comice. The tree is possibly pollen sterile. They are notoriously slow to bear. I just grafted a tree today.

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Also have warren the sibling of magness. Think warren is more tolerant to fireblight in regions with really bad fb problems. As far as comice like pears go these 2 are excellent.

Back to the bartlett like pears from the harrow station for a minute, the aroma is a huge factor for some people. Found it absolutely fascinating how much work they did at the harrow station. What growers would have considered that decadienoate esters are important to the development of Bartlett-like aroma? The harrow station did then tested every variety for that odor.
2327-9834-article-p822.pdf (829.3 KB)

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Matt, I’m looking for a Comice style pear that ripens with no fridge. I’ve got far to many pear trees that need the fridge to ripen. I grafted over 10 of them a week ago. One of them was Magness. All 10 of them were grafted to Harrow Delight, Harrow Sweet and Red Bartlett. All of them are super easy to ripen with no fridge.


I have read that Harvest Queen can ripen on the tree- no fridge required. It is my favorite pear. It is similar to Bartlett, but even better, in flavor. Buttery melting juicy and sweet/zippy-acidulous.


We know Bartlett aka williams was used as a model for taste, smell, size, and ripening times. The primary goal was to develop pears with resistance to Erwinia amylovora aka fireblight.



D.M. Hunter, R.E.C. Layne


Two pears and two apricots from the Agriculture and Agri Food Canada (AAFC) tree fruit breeding programs formerly located at Harrow, Ontario, Canada, have recently been introduced for commercial production in Europe. ‘AC Harrow Delicious’ pear (tested as HW608), and HW606 pear have improved tolerance to fire blight (caused by Erwinia amylovora) as compared to ‘Williams’ and ‘Dr. Jules Guyot’. ‘AC Harrow Delicious’ pear produces large, yellow, high quality fruits which are picked in the early to mid season, and are suitable for both fresh and processing markets. Fruits of HW606 pear are slightly smaller than those of ‘Williams’ and are picked just after ‘Williams’"

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Genetics is interesting on these crosses. These are not my photos or descriptions please see the links and documents.

HW 600 unamed above
Bartlett x US 386

HW 601 unamed above
Bartlett x Maxine

HW 602 harvest queen

HW 603 harrow delight

This is a high-quality hybrid pear tree (Old Home x ‘Early Sweet’) x ‘Bartlett’ with an early bearing character. It is very resistant to Blight and Pear Scab.

Although The Harrow Delight Pear tree is a heavy fruit bearing tree, it will take 2 to 3 years before your young tree will begin to produce fruits. Its highest fruit production will occur every 2 years.

HW 604 unamed above

Harrow 604 : Somewhat spreading growth habit, well spurred, low vigor, very precocious, early ripening, fire blight susceptible, hardy in Zone 4, injured at -33F. Fruit has long neck, yellow, size small to medium, outstanding flavor, ripe early August in SW MN.

HW 605 unamed above
Seckel x Bartlett
HW 606 bliss
HW 607
HW 608 delicious
HW 609 harrow sweet
‘Harrow Sweet’ pear (Pyrus communis L.)
is a high-quality, late-season pear for the fresh
market. It is precocious, productive, hardy,
and has excellent resistance to fire blight
[ Ewinia amylovora (Burr.) Winslow et al.].
This new cultivar, developed by the Agri-
culture Canada Research Station at Harrow,
Ont., is recommended by the Ontario Tender
Fruit Producers Marketing Board for trial
planting in Ontario. It is also recommended
for commercial culture in France (Masseron
and Trillot, 1991).
‘Harrow Sweet’ originated from a cross of
‘Bartlett’ × ‘Purdue 80-51’ (Fig. 1) made in
1965 by R.E.C.L. Also originating from this
cross was ‘Harrow Delight’, released in 1981
(Quamme and Spearman, 1983). ‘Harrow
Sweet’ was selected by H.A.Q. and propa-
gated for a second test at Harrow in 1980.
Trees were propagated in cooperation with
the Western Ontario Fruit Testing Assn.
(WOFTA) and, under the designation HW-
609, placed in regional trials with cooper-
ating growers beginning in 1983. ‘Harrow
Sweet’ was also propagated, under an agree-
ment with WOFTA, by the New York State
Fruit Testing Cooperative Assn. (NYSFTCA),
Geneva, and distributed for advanced test
beginning in 1988. ‘Harrow Sweet’ is being
tested in Canada, the United States, Europe,
and New Zealand.
The fruit matures 18 Sept. at Harrow, 23

HW 610 harrow crisp

In controlled pollination tests, fruit set
was used to determine pollen compatibility
when pollen from a known source was ap-
plied to stigmatic surfaces immediately after
emasculation of the flower. Because emascu-
lated pear flowers are even less attractive to
bees and other pollinating insects than
nonemasculated flowers, bagging was not
considered necessary. ‘AC Harrow Crisp’
will not consistently pollinate ‘Bartlett’,
‘Bosc’, or ‘Anjou’, especially when spring
weather is warm and humid; however, under
the cooler conditions experienced in Spring
2000, ‘AC Harrow Crisp’ pollinated ‘Bartlett’,
‘Bosc’, ‘Anjou’, ‘Flemish Beauty’, and ‘AC
Harrow Gold’, but these cultivars did not
adequately pollinate ‘AC Harrow Crisp’. Also
in 2000, pollination of emasculated flowers
of ‘AC Harrow Crisp’ with pollen of ‘AC
Harrow Crisp’ resulted in adequate fruit set
for commercial production. Seed set in ‘AC
Harrow Crisp’ tends to be low, and large-
sized fruits can develop with few or no viable

HW 611 unreleased
HW 612
HW 613
HW 614 sundown


‘Harovin Sundown’ pear originated from a cross of ‘Bartlett’ × US56112-146 (Fig. 1) made in 1972 by H.A. Quamme. ‘Harovin Sundown’ was selected in 1980 by H.A. Quamme and propagated for a second test at Harrow in 1984 by F. Kappel. Trees were propagated in cooperation with the Western Ontario Fruit Testing Association (now the Ontario Fruit Testing Association) and, under the designation HW614, placed in grower trials beginning in 1986. It was also planted in regional evaluation orchards established in 1992, and in 1999, ‘Harovin Sundown’ was included in a large-scale pear trial planted for commercial processing evaluation of fire blight-resistant cultivars and selections. ‘Harovin Sundown’ is currently being tested in Canada (Ontario, Nova Scotia, and British Columbia), the United States (New York), and Europe (France, The Netherlands).

View Full Size

Fig. 1.

Pedigree of ‘Harovin Sundown’ pear.

Citation: HortScience horts 44, 5; 10.21273/HORTSCI.44.5.1461

Description and Performance: Tree Characteristics

Tree habit and productivity.

The tree of ‘Harovin Sundown’ is medium in size, conical and upright to spreading, annually productive, and winter-hardy, producing a good crop after exposure to winter minimum temperatures as low as –29 °C. There has been no evidence of biennial bearing. Precocity of ‘Harovin Sundown’ on standard (Bartlett seedling) rootstock appears to be similar to that of ‘Bartlett’ with trees coming into production ≈4 years after planting. Annual yields of harvested fruits have been equal to or greater than those of ‘Bartlett’, especially in areas where fire blight has adversely affected the productivity of ‘Bartlett’.

Shoot habit.

The bark on the sun-exposed side of dormant shoots is orange–brown [RHS code 175A or 175B; Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), 1966]. After the 2006 growing season, the internode length (mean ± se, n = 200) of ‘Harovin Sundown’ was 38.2 ± 0.4 mm as compared with that of ‘Bartlett’ (32.7 ± 0.3 mm), ‘Harrow Sweet’ (29.1 ± 0.4 mm), ‘AC Harrow Crisp’ (32.6 ± 0.4 mm), and ‘Beurré Bosc’ (46.0 ± 0.6 mm).


Leaves of ‘Harovin Sundown’ are elliptic, the shape of the base of the leaf blade is right-angled, and the shape of the upper part of the leaf blade is right-angled with pointed or broad acuminate tips. There is little curvature of the midrib. Leaf serrations are small and shallow but distinct. The angle between the petiole and the shoot is less than 30°, the petiole is medium in length (mean ≈24 mm, range, 15 to 32 mm), and stipules are sometimes absent. The attitude of the leaf in relation to the shoot is outward (i.e., leaves are predominantly horizontal on vertical shoots rather than pointing upward or downward). Actively growing shoot tips are reddish green with light pubescence.

Fire blight tolerance.

Like with other introductions from the AAFC pear breeding program formerly located at Harrow (Hunter et al., 1992, 2002a, 2002b; Quamme and Spearman, 1983), ‘Harovin Sundown’ has excellent resistance to fire blight (caused by E. amylovora), similar to or greater than that of ‘Kieffer’, which is used as the standard for selection (Hunter, 1993). Using natural fire blight infection scores (from van der Zwet et al., 1970), ‘Harovin Sundown’ had a resistance rating much greater than that of ‘Bartlett’ (Table 1). When actively growing shoot tips were inoculated with a mixture of six virulent strains of E. amylovora, the length of the lesion that developed extended to ≈12% of the current season’s growth, similar to ‘AC Harrow Crisp’ and ‘Harrow Sweet’, but less than ‘Kieffer’ and much less than lesion development in ‘Bartlett’ (Table 1). Similar results have been obtained in greenhouse studies using young grafted trees (data not presented), suggesting that rootstock has little impact on relative susceptibility to this pathogen.

Table 1.

Summary of fire blight evaluations of ‘Harovin Sundown’ at AAFC, Harrow, Ontario, Canada.

View Table

Bloom and pollination.

First bloom and full bloom of ‘Harovin Sundown’ are both ≈2 d later than ‘Bartlett’, and this attribute may lead to less blossom damage caused by spring frosts. Flower clusters typically contain seven flowers, occasionally six or eight, rarely five or nine. Petals are white, broad ovate, and are slightly apart to just touching with no overlap. When the flower is just opening, anthers are pink to dark pink (RHS code 51A, 58A, 58B), but anther color changes rapidly once the flower opens. Anthers are large in size and are level with or slightly above the stigma when the flower is fully open.

Pollen compatibility has been assessed using pollination records from the breeding program and from a limited number of crosses made specifically for this purpose using methods described earlier (Hunter et al., 2002a, 2002b). Generally, a fruit set of greater than 20% is required for commercial fruit production, whereas fruit set less than 10% suggests incompatibility. Results have been inconsistent over the years, and, in some cases, fruit set has varied widely from year to year. ‘Harovin Sundown’ has successfully pollinated ‘Beurré d’Anjou’, ‘Bartlett’, ‘Beurré Bosc’, ‘Clapps Favorite’, ‘Flemish Beauty’, ‘AC Harrow Crisp’, ‘AC Harrow Gold’, and ‘Swiss Bartlett’. Cultivars that have successfully pollinated ‘Harovin Sundown’ include ‘Beurré Bosc’, ‘AC Harrow Crisp’, ‘AC Harrow Gold’, and ‘Swiss Bartlett’, whereas ‘Bartlett’ pollen does not consistently produce adequate fruit set for commercial production. There is also some evidence from controlled pollination trials for self-compatibility in ‘Harovin Sundown’. Fruit production in commercial trial orchards planted to ‘Bartlett’, ‘AC Harrow Crisp’, ‘AC Harrow Gold’, ‘Swiss Bartlett’, ‘Harovin Sundown’, and HW620 (a selection currently undergoing advanced testing) has equaled or exceeded provincial averages for all cultivars, indicating that this combination of cultivars allows for adequate crosspollination under Ontario, Canada, conditions.

‘Harovin Sundown’ tends to produce secondary flower clusters, which can lead to the development of a late-ripening second crop. Secondary flowering has not resulted in increased fire blight infections.

Fruit Characteristics

Shape and color.

Fruit are symmetrical and ovate–pyriform to turbinate in shape (Fig. 2). In profile, the fruit shape is convex to almost straight and has been rated mostly as 3.3 and 5.3 using International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR) descriptors (Thibault et al., 1983); individual fruits have received IBPGR ratings (listed in decreasing order of frequency) of 3.3, 5.3, 1.3, 3.1, 5.1, and 7.1. The calyx is persistent at harvest with short to medium length sepals that are convergent to upright. Based on visual estimates, the calyx basin is medium depth, medium to broad in width, and the margin is slightly ribbed. When harvested, fruits are green with a red blush on the sun-exposed fruit surface. After ripening at ≈20 °C, the skin develops a very attractive golden yellow ground color (RHS code 11A or 11B), whereas the blush on sun-exposed fruit surfaces becomes more orange than red. The skin is very smooth and there is no russeting of the fruit. The flesh is white to cream white in color (RHS code 158A or 158B), very fine in texture, grit-free, and becomes buttery and very juicy when fully ripe. The fruit has a strong intense pear flavor. Core breakdown has not been a problem with this cultivar.

View Full Size

Fig. 2.

Fruit of ‘Harovin Sundown’ pear.

Citation: HortScience horts 44, 5; 10.21273/HORTSCI.44.5.1461

Yields and fruit size.

In a commercial orchard planted in 1999 in Niagara Region, Ontario, the first harvest of commercial yield of ‘Harovin Sundown’ occurred in 2003, the same year as ‘Bartlett’ in the same orchard (Table 2). Annual production of ‘Harovin Sundown’ increased during the first 5 production years, and the cumulative yield of ‘Harovin Sundown’ was ≈14% greater than that of ‘Bartlett’. In this commercial orchard, mean fruit weights for ‘Harovin Sundown’ and ‘Bartlett’ were ≈231 g and ≈135 g, respectively (Slingerland, unpublished data). Fruits of ‘Harovin Sundown’ are similar in size or slightly larger than those of ‘Bartlett’ on unthinned trees, but when thinned to two fruits per cluster according to Ontario recommendations for fresh market pear production (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, 2006), very large fruits, some greater than 76 mm in diameter, were produced. The fruit size distribution for thinned trees showed that for ‘Harovin Sundown’, ≈56% of the fruit weight and ≈43% of fruit numbers were in the greater than 70 mm classes, whereas the corresponding values for ‘Bartlett’ were ≈19% and ≈14% (Table 3).

Table 2.

Harvested fruit yields (t·ha−1) of ‘Harovin Sundown’ at St. Davids, Ontario, Canada, 2003–2007.z

View Table

Table 3.

Fruit size distribution of ‘Harovin Sundown’ at AAFC, Jordan Station, Ontario, Canada in 2008.

View Table


At Harrow, the fruit of ‘Harovin Sundown’ mature in mid-September, ≈3 weeks after ‘Bartlett’ and just before ‘Harrow Sweet’ (Table 4). At Vineland, ‘Bartlett’ was picked ≈1 Sept. and both ‘Harovin Sundown’ and ‘Harrow Sweet’ were harvested ≈22 Sept., a few days later than at Harrow.

Table 4.

Harvest date and fresh fruit evaluations for ‘Harovin Sundown’ at AAFC, Harrow, Ontario, Canada.

View Table

Quality and storage.

Fruits were harvested each year at the normal level of maturity for commercial harvest of fruits for the fresh market (5 to 7 kg pressure). Samples of five to 10 fruits selected at random were ripened at ≈20 °C immediately after harvest and after 4 weeks in common cold storage at ≈2 °C. Evaluations were made on appearance, flavor, texture, number, and size of grit (stone cells) in the flesh, juiciness, and core size relative to fruit size. At Harrow, trained panelists rated the appearance of ripened fruit of ‘Harovin Sundown’ as very good, similar to ‘Bartlett, but with a lower score than ‘AC Harrow Crisp’ (Table 4). The fresh fruit quality, as indicated by the weighted score, of ‘Harovin Sundown’ was lower than ‘Bartlett’ and ‘AC Harrow Crisp’ (Table 4). Panelists sometimes reported an astringency associated with the skin of pears ripened shortly after picking, but this astringency was absent or not reported when fruits were ripened after ≈3 to 4 weeks in common cold storage at ≈2 °C. Fruits of ‘Harovin Sundown’ held in common cold storage at ≈2 °C until early to mid-January and then ripened for 2 to 3 d at room temperature have received acceptable ratings for appearance, flavor, and texture, whereas the quality of ‘Bartlett’ fruits start to decline by November (data not presented).

Processing evaluations.

When ripened fruit were processed as pear halves, ‘Harovin Sundown’ was inferior to ‘Bartlett’ in appearance, flavor, and texture (data not presented). Because of the large fruit size, fewer pear halves fit into a can, so it was difficult to obtain the legally required weight for that can size. Recovery was adequate when processed as a diced product. When processed as pear puree, ‘Bartlett’ was rated significantly better than both ‘Harovin Sundown’ and ‘AC Harrow Crisp’. Although the processed product from small-scale trials was rated good, the quality was not sufficiently high for ‘Harovin Sundown’ to have commercial acceptability for processing as halves or puree.


‘Harovin Sundown’ was tested at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Sidney Laboratory, Sidney, British Columbia (formerly known as the CFIA Center for Plant Health, Saanichton, British Columbia), using woody-host and herbaceous-host biological indicators, and by serological and molecular methods, and was found to be free of all known viruses, virus-like agents, viroids, and phytoplasmas. Trees propagated from virus-tested budwood have been planted in the Canadian Clonal Genebank at Harrow, Ontario. ‘Harovin Sundown’ is protected under Canadian Plant Breeders’ Rights legislation and is subject to commercialization contracts. Inquiries regarding tree availability and licensing of commercial propagation may be addressed to Vineland Research and Innovation Center, P.O. Box 4000, 4890 Victoria Avenue N., Vineland Station, Ontario, Canada, L0R 2E0.

Literature Cited

  • Hunter, D.M. 1993 Pear breeding for the 21st century—Program and progress at Harrow Acta Hort. 338 377 383

  • Hunter, D.M. , Kappel, F. , Quamme, H.A. & Bonn, W.G. 2002a ‘AC Harrow Gold’ pear HortScience 37 224 226

  • Hunter, D.M. , Kappel, F. , Quamme, H.A. & Bonn, W.G. 2002b ‘AC Harrow Crisp’ pear HortScience 37 227 229

HW 615 unreleased
HW 616 harrow gold
Harvest Queen x Harrow Delight.

HW616 cv. USPP 16,124

AC™ Harrow Gold HW616 cv. ripens approximately 10 days before Bartlett and is a cross between Harvest Queen and Harrow Delight. The fruit are yellow with smooth skin and fine texture. AC™ Harrow Gold has a flavor that is balanced between sweetness and acidity. The variety is exceptionally juicy and the fruit are similar in size to that of Bartlett. Longer storage ability is limited with this selection. AC™ Harrow Gold was bred by Agri-Food Canada and has a high tolerance to fire blight.

HW 617 unreleased
HW 618
HW 619 unreleased
HW 620 unamed above
HW 621 unreleased
HW 622 unreleased
HW 623 happi
“Like a lot of other Harrow pears, Happi Pear is fire blight tolerant. It’s not resistant, but infections are less common, and strikes that do occur don’t run and spread. The cultivar also appears to be psylla tolerant, although the mechanism isn’t fully understood yet, Blakey said.”

HW623’ arose from the controlled cross of ‘Harrow Sweet’ and ‘HW605’ made in 1979 at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Research Station in Harrow, Ontario. It was selected as a hybrid seedling in 1988 and propagated by budding on pear seedling rootstocks. Trees were planted in an evaluation orchard at the Harrow Research Centre in 1993 and in November, 1999, trees in this orchard were relocated to the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Research Farm at Jordan Station. This selection was advanced and tested in regional trials in cooperation with the Western Ontario Fruit Testing Association beginning in 1994.

HW 624 dew drop

The new and distinct pear tree described and claimed herein originated from a controlled cross between ‘Harrow Sweet’ and ‘NY10353’ made in 1988 in Harrow, Ontario.

[23279834 - HortScience] `Harrow Sweet’ Pear.pdf (2.0 MB)

2327-9834-article-p227.pdf (58.9 KB)


In reading some of these articles and links and doing a few searches, I don’t see much if any chill requirement info for the Harrow series.

A few nurseries say to zone 9 but that doesn’t really work as there is no agreement on what that means.

I didn’t find a single place where an hour estimate was shown.

It doesn’t mean it isn’t out there, but I didn’t find it.

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In my experience chill requirements don’t apply to descendents of European pears. I’m also aware that some don’t ripen properly in the heat+humidity of central FL, eg. Tampa Bay.


Meaning they flower and set fruit but the ripening / quantity is uncertain right?

You’ve mentioned this about apples but never responded. The retail world is filled with chill requirement information. I’d think they could sell more if more trees can be grown in different areas than is indicated.

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They flower and set fruits that rot from heat and humidity before ripening. Notice that many near-tropic and tropical fruits have protective skins: avocado, banana, citrus, pouteria to name a few.

It was established 20 years ago by a member here (applenut) in Riverside CA.


That’s pretty clear. It certainly is observed the amount of flowering and the duration of the bloom seems to be tied to those chill hours quoted everywhere, but the ability for a certain variety to handle the overall conditions in a warmer climate is and successfully germinate and hold the fruit is the issue.


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This is false for apples. However, nurseries are very shy about changing their spiel (even when they know it’s wrong) for a number of reasons.

I suspect it is also true for pears but my experiences have not been as inclusive as applenut. He is now helping locals farm apples in equatorial Africa.

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