Dana's Hovey Pear


Just eating our few Dana’s Hovey now and they are incredible. Anybody else experiencing these? Quite possibly the best pear I have ever eaten. There is a slight grit only, lemony yellow, small and on the round side. They are very juicy, sweet, somewhat acid but not at all tart. But that’s all just the canvas that the amazing flavor is painted on: they’re spicy, perfumed, with layers of spice, hints of vanilla and maybe a bit of rose, and just barely tannic enough. I could make myself sick on these if my wife weren’t busy making sure she gets her share!


Rumor is the Dana Hovey pear makes a naturally dwarf-sized tree.

I think Scott Smith once said they can be susceptible to fireblight so I got spooked from planting one.

Glad you’re enjoying it. Sounds good!

No photos?


The pear sound like it would be great tasting and that was an awesome description.


Well, it is a good pear- unless I confused my labels (again) and it’s actually White Doyenne! I’ll try to get pictures of Seckel, this pear, and Gold Spice to compare here.

My description (blush) was a little bit of fruit porn, I’m afraid. Get one more beer in me and I’d probably have to be banned from the board …

I don’t know about it being a naturally small tree; I have it grafted to my Gold Spice on FxOH and that is supposed to be a middlin-sized tree itself; I keep it to 12 feet. I haven’t noted anything particular about the graft’s vigor, but it has been slow to bear.


Thanks for the description, Mark, this is a variety I’ve been interested in and it’s great to hear your experience. And no need to blush, your enthusiasm testifies to the intoxicating qualities of the pear!

About the vigor of the tree, I went and took a look at The Pears of New York, and it describes Dana Hovey as “large, vigorous, upright-spreading, rapid-growing, productive.” So rather unlike Seckel, its suspected parent, in that respect. Also said to lack Seckel’s fireblight resistance, unfortunately, but I seem to remember reading somewhere that it is better than Seckel for scab (? - Hedrick doesn’t speak to this).

Does anyone else have experience with this variety?


Picked a few at a friend’s place today, 1/3 of the crop was on the ground and in good shape. He calls it a winter sugar pear that will keep nicely, peaking after thanksgiving.
Still quite crisp now, basic sweet pear flavor.

These will go down into the cellar for a bit…


I’ve had no trouble with fireblight -yet.

(I see I wrote this response before I left town for a week for hunting camp and never hit the “Reply” button- sorry for that!)


I realize this is an old thread, but I’ve been reading up on Dana Hovey pears and am thinking about acquiring some scions.

Does anyone have further information on this pear? FB issues? Consistently winter hardy in zone 4/5 MT and zone 5 ME? Anything else to consider?


I’ve had this pear for several years here in zone 4/5. I’ve been lucky so far on all my pears and apples as far as FB is concerned, so I can’t speak to that. I can say that of the few I’ve tasted I’ve been super impressed.

I don’t know for sure that I’ll have scions but if I do I’ll be happy to share them. Be aware that I seem to have trouble keeping labels in order and there’s a modest but real chance that I’ll get them confused with White Doyenne. Either way, you ought to have them.


Fedco lists it as a zone 4 pear, and their description of the fruit sure makes a person want to grow it.


I’ve grown it for a short amount of time and had no fire blight issues yet. Once it fruits I can give a better update on the pear


Hardy into zone 4, for sure.


Dana Hovey has flower buds this year after only 3 years. Cannot wait to try them!


Clark, it’s a little too early for me to be sure, but I think your little yellow pear might be trying to spur up on my frankenpear. I’m excited!

Dana’s Hovey is a real treat here. I don’t get a lot of them but I make sure they don’t go to waste. I’m looking forward to hearing how it behaves for you.


The little yellow pear likely wont be to good the first year (was awful for me). Similar to trying to eat a green walnut husk. The second or third year its better than any pear ive tried with a very unique flavor. Clara frijs and several others have blossoms on them but im not overly hopeful yet with those in their first year or two. Cant wait for a taste of Dana Hovey! The yellow pear will ripen in late July or August for you. Dont let it rot on the tree from the inside out , it will do it in a hurry.


Mine also has buds for the first time, also grafted three years ago. I had a tree in a low light area for a long time and it never fruited so I moved it to a branch on a quince rootstock.


Dana hovey is covered with fruit buds this year.


I also have good buds and I pruned it above the deer this year so hope to get a few more pears.


They are so good! I hope they do well were you’re growing them.


Your description of this pear convinced me to order scionwood from Bob Purvis. It should arrive by the end of this month.