Clarkinks Top 10 flavored disease resistant pears for 2023

My tastes have not changed much from last time Clarkinks 2021 / 2022 recommended pears everyone must have

Disease resistant pears
1.Clarks small yellow pear -10
2.harrow sweet -8
3.drippin honey -8
4.harrow delight -8
5. Korean giant -8
6. Ayers -7
7. Clara frijs-8
8. Potomac-8
9. Warren -8
10. Karls favorite-7


No Maxine? How would you rate that one? I actually planted it and Ayer’s based off your recommendations. :slight_smile:


Like Harvest Queen so far in z 6a Rocky Mountain foothills.

Reliable heavy set. At least so far. which is a chronic problem here.


Can’t speak much to disease resistance. Pressures are light here.

Not a strong grower for me. Wish I had used a stronger rootstock.


When does that ripen for you?

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Maxine, magness, and seckle were all nearly put on the list this year.


Yeah, if you left off that “disease resistant” part I’d debate many of them. How many of the Harrow series do you have?

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Just 2 of them.

I think there is like 5-6 of them in that series. Do you know if any of them ripen later like the Sweet?

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Warren is vigorous here so far.

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Think you will like warren a lot.

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The only problem with Warren is taking 10+ years to bear the first fruit. I have it grafted on a 20 year old rootstock in an attempt to shorten the time a bit.



Warren can take a long time to produce pears, but that was not my experience.Is it worth it to grow the Warren pear


Thanks for the list Clark. For some reason in my orchard I don’t think much at all about disease resistance for pears, they all get it or none get it. I do a couple disease sprays every year so that could be a factor.



Copper is very much worth spraying for fireblight at my location on susceptible pears. Have a red comice right now i’m determining disease susceptibility with by not spraying. My goal is to grow mostly resistant varieties. What are a couple of your favorites right now?

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Harvest queen is a very slow grower for me. It is reportedly very high quality but was left off the list for that reason. We grew it for 6 years with no crop and minimal growth.



"AC™ Harrow Crisp is a midsized, conical, upright, annually productive, and hardy tree. More importantly, it is fireblight resistant, making it a great choice for home orchardists and organic growers. AC™ Harrow Crisp does not produce sufficient viable pollen to be used as a pollenizer for Barlett. However, it is self-fertile. AC™ Harrow Crisp will pollinate Bosc,Flemish Beauty, and Anjou.

The fruit is a very attractive pear, blushed red on smooth yellow skin, slightly larger than Bartlett, with fine and firm cream-white flesh. The flavor is mild and sweet, and it receives very high ratings in taste trials. AC™ Harrow Crisp matures at the end of August or early September, about the same time as Bartlett, and it can be picked over a two-week period. Early picked fruit can be stored for about two months, but storage life is reduced with later picking. If kept too long or picked too late, it will deteriorate internally without external signs. When processed as pear halves, it maintains its integrity.

This cultivar originated from a 1972 cross of Bartlett and US56112-146 made by H. A. Quamme at Harrow, Canada. The selection was made in 1979. The parentage of the breeding selection US56112-146 includes Barseck, which imparts disease resistance to many modern pear cultivars."

"This tree is medium sized, pyriform, upright-spreading, hardy, and reliably annual. It has great fireblight resistance and it is also resistant to mildew, but somewhat susceptible to scab. It is quite precocious: fruit is produced from lateral buds on one-year wood, as well as on spurs, thus coming into production in its second or third year. Fruit should be thinned to maintain size and productivity. AC™ Harrow Sweet has demonstrated pollen compatibility with Bartlett and Harrow Delight, and it will perform well on quince rootstock.

AC™ Harrow Sweet produces heavy crops that ripen three to four weeks after Bartlett. The pear is yellow with a red blush. The flesh is sweet and juicy, with an excellent flavor that rates highly in taste trials. It will store well for about ten weeks, and it holds its form when processed.

AC™ Harrow Sweet was developed from a cross of Bartlett x Purdue 80-51 (Old Home x Early Sweet). This same cross also produced Harrow Delight."

Pyrus communis ‘Harrow Delight’

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
PY-russ kom-YOO-nis

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.

Proper placement of this tree can have a bearing on its successful fruit production. Avoid low-lying areas where cold pockets of air can form. A spot receiving full sun is required during the growing season in order for the fruits to succeed.

When ripening is left to occur naturally, the fruits will not ripen evenly. Remove the fruit from the tree before they are fully ripened and allow to ripen in storage for 5 to 7 days. If they are left on the tree until they are soft to the touch, they will become a soft brown gritty mush.

For the best production of fruits, prune your tree on an annual basis. For the highest quality fruits, thin your tree in late spring or early summer. The white flesh is juicy and sweet."

" 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."

" Harovin Sundown’ pear (Pyrus communis L.) is an attractive late-season fresh market pear with good storage capability. It is highly productive with no evidence of biennial bearing. The tree has excellent resistance to fire blight [a bacterial disease incited by Erwinia amylovora (Burr.) Winslow et al.]. This new cultivar, developed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) at its Research Centers in Harrow and Vineland Station, Ontario, Canada, is recommended by the Ontario Tender Fruit Producers’ Marketing Board for general planting in Ontario. It is protected under Canadian Plant Breeders Rights legislation (application number 08-6315).


‘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).

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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.

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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

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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."

Harrow sundown is also known as coldsnap

A vigorous, conical, upright-spreading tree, Cold Snap® is fireblight resistant and well suited to high-density planting. This pear is reliably annual and is pollen compatible with most other European pears; trials show poor pollination when paired with Bartlett.

Ripening three weeks after Bartlett, the fruit is large and roundish, with an attractive blush. At harvest, the flesh is firm, with a pleasing, snappy crunch. At full ripeness, the pear is buttery and juicy. Tasters describe a floral flavor with notes of lemon. Cold Snap® is best eaten after about eight weeks in cold storage. It will store well for up to six months.

Cold Snap® was originally bred as Harovin Sundown in the 1970’s by H. A. Quamme. This variety was acquired by the Vineland Innovation and Research Center, which began selling trees in 2015. "

"Harvest Queen is an upright, vigorous, and productive tree. It has excellent fireblight resistance and is somewhat resistant to scab. This pear has established pollen compatibility with Bosc, Anjou, and Harrow Delight. It is not pollen compatible with Bartlett.

Ripening about a week before Bartlett, Harvest Queen is a smallish fruit, and it ripens to an even, smooth yellow with no blush or russet. It rates highly for flavor and texture, both fresh and processed. The flesh is buttery and free of stone cells.

Harvest Queen is a Bartlett and (Barseck x Bartlett) cross; it is very similar to Bartlett, with the main exceptions being its slightly smaller size and its improved disease resistance. The selection was made in 1972, and the cultivar was released in 1981."

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I’m with you on Harrow Sweet. We got our first fruits last fall and WOW! Delicious flavor with candy like sweetness.



You will enjoy these old threads

Love these goodfruit articles New Canadian pear varieties are fire blight tolerant | Good Fruit Grower


My current list is something like

  1. Dana Hovey
  2. Seckel
  3. Urbaniste
  4. Magness
  5. Fondante des Moulins-Lille

for Euros and

  1. Kosui
  2. Hosui
  3. Drippin’ Honey

for Asians. Korean Giant could eventually be there as well but they keep getting stolen so I am picking them early but at less optimal ripeness.

A lot of earlier pears just don’t work for me, they are too prone to rotting. So I have been removing them. Harrow Delight and Shinsui are two examples of earlier pears I had to remove.



Early pears like harrow delight are tough in this area as well. The reason they’re so difficult to grow here are japanese and green june beetles.