Maybe this has been discussed before, but I was in a conversation today with someone about Comice pears.
I had always heard Comice pears were very susc. to fireblight. This is the same pear grown by Harry and David’s, just rebranded as Royal Rivera. I had always heard it was dicey to try to grow it in humid/rainy climates because of fireblight.
Indeed with a quick web search I found at least one reputable university which indicated the cultivar was fireblight susc.
However, I also came across a presentation by Bill Shane who lists Comice as resistant to fireblight. He’s a recognized fruit specialist/expert so I’m wondering is Comice fireblight resistant or not?
I did notice that Comice is listed among resistant pears in the first list on page 5, but not in the second list on pages 24 & 25. Could it be a typo?
Raintree also lists Comice as fireblight resistant, but that doesn’t necessarily mean much. Nursery catalogs aren’t necessarily known for their accuracy.
I would like to find it out, too. I love Comice but am hesitant to graft it due to its fire blight susceptibility reputation. I would love to hear from the east coast growers, in particular, since this issue could be location-dependent.
A while back I saw a Bosc pear tree on a farm in my area (another pear I like) totally covered with fire blight.
I got it from Orange pippin 5 years ago so it could be mislabeled but it has been a easy to care for tree that puts on alot of fruiting spurs (on ohf333). They are speckled green/brown and slightly reddish where the sun hits them and have the delicious melting pear taste now that i refrigerate ripen them thanks to @clarkinks suggestions (counter ripening and box or bag was working horribly for me). It tastes immensely better than the store comice of course and maybe a bit larger in size but shape is right on and mine get great light too.
Im just saying i see bees go from FB tree directly to it and i have never seen a strike when the neighbors tree is losing a watersprout limb or two a year and multiple blossom sights so i feel it is very resistant. The other reason i say this is you meet people that don’t like comice pears but the ones i have had have been like THE definition of a great pear for me, my wife hates pears and yet loves comices. Grocery store ones i only buy when its local and they are very good then other times pretty basic.
Nothing compares to a good Bosc pear. I planted one in December, and I have a russet Comice on order from Raintree to pollinate it. I like the look of russet skin on fruits. Seckel is my third favorite pear, but I don’t know if it grows in PNW.
We have opposite climates so no idea but seckel has been very good, I do not like its growth pattern as its leggy and has a decent amount of watersprouts, it gives me very small but very delicious pears. It is fireblight resistant but i have seen strikes on it but they did not go far.
You would think that but i assume its pretty humid inside a flower no matter what, and my assumption is since our uv index is 40% higher and we have higher spring daytime temperatures than most areas as well that creates a pretty rough Fireblight area. FB made apple orchards basically all fail around here in the 20’s and even the western slope which has a much nicer climate for fruit than say the front range Denver boulder area. Its my understanding even the settlers knew that after 10-15 years of apple plantings 75%+ would die and ranchers had a hard time finding food source for large amounts of hogs which is why chickens and cattle did much better here.
I mentioned sour cherries because in the sixties there was a huge snap frost and it killed most(90%+) of the sour cherries (which was what we mainly grew) and thats when/where denver suburbs, boulder, ft collins all had a huge group of homes built on these defunct orchards. The google earth history thing is real interesting and funny how much info we still have from back in the day for the west. Applewood (the five mile apple orchard) was owned by a guy who first started making potassium nitrate out of dynamite leavings and he did alot of work on trying to make FB resistant orchards although he eventually gave up in the 30s and sold Applewood for real estate. All the mountain towns are overrun with rich people who do not live there now.
@Olpea back to your original question here in kansas if its resistant my experience is it does not demonstrate that at all on my farm. Its more sensitive than forelle. Some pears such as bartlett , bosc, anjou etc are very difficult to grow here. Ive lost several doyenne comice grafts aka royal riviera. Ive grown them a couple years losing over half the grafts each year trying to learn the tricks to growing them in this area. I cant imagine how hard it is to grow them once they flower. Im trying red fleshed, conference, concord and other similar relatives looking for the right combination and i feel im close to growing a comice like pear.
Maybe i will not be able to grow the original comice but i keep trying . Im using tricks like grafting to low vigor or high vigor branches etc. See if i can slow the growth enough or speed it up . I would not consider comice fast growing as it is at least on callery even with interstems.