Does anyone have firsthand experience about whether or not d’anjou pears are self fertile? Dave Wilson’s site and the nursery I bought my tree from said they need pollinators. However, I’ve seen a few references online to them being partially self fertile. Which is it? I live in Berkeley, CA in case that makes a difference.
No thoughts? Where are you pear people?
They’re probably hanging out with the Southeastern strawberry people. I know what it feels like to have an unanswered question, and I don’t have any personal experience with this, but ext.colostate.edu has this to say:
Anjou and Bartlett are partially self-fruitful but should be cross-pollinated to produce heavy and regular Crops. Bartlett, Comice and Hardy may set large Crops of parthenocarpic fruit. Another consideration is the fire blight susceptibility of the pear cultivar, because the pollen source is useless if stunted or killed. (See fact sheet 2.907, Fire Blight.) Pear blossoms have a short season and the small amount of nectar produced is not attractive to bees. Twice as many bees should be available to pears than for other fruits. Move bees into the pear orchard when the trees are in one-third bloom.”
They also have a chart that says that Anjou should not be used as a pollinizer for other pears.
I had one that never produced despite full blooms. The nearest pear was a bartlett about 500 yards away. I decided I needed to plant another pollenizer right next to it, but the d’anjou died suddenly after harsh winter. The bark fell off the rootstock in the following spring. After doing some research, I determined it was on provence quince for dwarfing. That rootstock isn’t cold hardy enough for zone 5. That was my first inspiration to never again buy a tree without knowing the rootstock.
Since then, I read that some pears produce lower quality nectar and sometimes have issues with bee pollination if more attractive flowers are out at the time. D’Anjou might be one of them. It would have been nice to try hand pollination, but I woke up to issue just a year too late.
The question of self fruitfulness with pears is always complicated. I believe most are self fruitful and can bear seedless fruit if weather is warm enough in spring- in S. CA there used to be a Bartlett pear industry where commercial growers didn’t use other pears for pollination.
I’ve heard from southern growers that many varieties are self fruitful there, so my hunch is that probably all E. pears can bear without pollination if the conditions are right and they have enough energy to spare. Cool, wet springs don’t provide that energy and pears tend to abort fruit in these conditions unless it contains viable seeds.
Sorry, missed this thread, Chris. It is a more complicated answer In ideal growing conditions and no pest pressure (for us here in S. California, that is mainly blight, our bane for pears and supported, sadly, to the very, very extensive planting of flowering Bradford pear tree in commercial applications, it should bear decently without the aid of a cross pollinator. It will bear better and usually sooner with a cross pollinator. DWN is hedging their bets I think, and also, great way to sell an additional tree. Is there a reason why you’re set on D’Anjou? I could recommend better cultivars for you. Here is what I have on my property:
Pear TM (OHxF97) N
Guigno Pear (OHxF333)RT
Butirra Precoce Morettini Pear N
Citron de Carmes Pear N
(OHxF 513) OGW
(OHxF 513) OGW
Juliette E.pear (OHxF333)
Pear (OHxF333) S
Fondante de Moulins Lille Pear N
E. Pear (OHxF333) RT
Suij E. Pear
Hoosier, is that list from experience? Here in NY Seckel is a very early flowering Euro that could pollinate Asians if they needed it. It is the earliest flowering Euro I grow and I grow a lot of pears, including Aurora.
Also, it seems to me that commercial growers would probably not have grown Bartletts in S. CA without cross pollination if it decreased harvests in any way. I read about those orchards in Childer’s book, “Modern Fruit Science”.
No, Alan, that’s what is in my yard I have 17 pear tree varieties in my yard (appear to be missing one - gotta get back out in the front yard and figure out what’s missing). And my “early” and “late” categories are for ripening times, not bloom times. Seckel here ripens Aug/Sept. And, it is probably next to bloom for me (still not blooming). And interestingly - the only pear (so far, knock on every piece of wood I can find), that had symptoms of blight was the “blight resistant” Seckel. I pretty savagely pruned out what I could see, then treated the next season at bloom time. So far, crossing fingers, no more signs. And, my gosh are those pears ridiculously delicious. Like eating candy. My only issue really (besides watching for blight), is my pears are the #1 top target for birds/rats/ground squirrels. I picked two of my Seckels last season, went out about week later to pick the rest of the about 20/30 pears - every SINGLE one gone. No trace. I am going to have to set traps below each tree, and either bag or net. The pears are ravished worse than any other fruit tree in my yard.
One of the most prolific and early pears, and earlier I think than listed commercially for me, at least, in the Pineapple pear. It is in full leaf right now, and fruit has completely set. Everything else is either still dormant, or just barely starting. Including my Seckel. Very prolific pear tree. So by far any away, Pineapple blooms first, and appears to be self-fruitful or partially so, since it’s set fruit and no other pears are blooming, yet for me (again, conflicting reports out there, but clearly, it is at least partially self-fruitful for me in my climate and growing conditions). Early due, most likely, to being an Asian pear cross. Very hardy, really a tough pear. And, a very pretty tree, too.
HQ, sorry, I misunderstood you.
My sister has Seckel in the CA coastal north and it gets hit annually by a non-fatal version of FB. I don’t consider it terribly resistant here in NY as it has killed Seckel trees on my watch. It also gets scab here and is not the easiest variety to manage once and if such pests arrive.
You might want to try Harrow Sweet- it is such an outstanding variety here. High sugar, very precocious, and seems to bear every year. So far it seems true to its rep of FB resistance. For humid region growers it also has the virtues of scab and psyla resistance from what I’ve seen.
Of course, you can grow varieties there I can only dream about- such as Comice.
Thanks, Alan, will look for Harrow-Sweet to add in. I actually had a nice spot that’s opened up in my semi-circle on the “early” side (I have them split in half planted in semi-circles on either side of my driveway). That sounds very nice. I just don’t have time to fret about fireblight. The ONLY reason I caught it, was because I was very excited about having blossoms on my Seckel a couple of years ago (which means first fruits), and saw the affected limbs. After having a panic attack, went and grabbed the Felcos and my bleach spray, and took out about 1/2 the tree (slight exaggeration, but not by much). It has recovered very nicely, and since we’ve just not had the weather conditions to make FB flourish since, my pears have all been FB clear. But, the antibiotics are here if I see anything come back. And yes, Comice is right there with Seckel. In fact, in my yard, they’re planted next to each other, and closest to the house (so I don’t forget to run out and pick them). Yum.
There you all are! Appreciate the responses.
MuddyMess - I saw that same article. It seemed to contradict everything else I’ve read but I’m hopeful.
HQ - I actually already have the d’anjou. It’s been in the ground since last year. It was one of the first trees I bought when I started getting into the whole fruit thing. I actually thought it was a bosc, but it’s in the ground now and actually pretty large already so I’m keeping it.
I have a Bartlett in a pot about 25 feet away but it hasn’t bloomed yet. I actually think it might be defunct because it’s only put out 4 leaves so far. I’d put it in the ground but I’m out of space.
From what I’m hearing it sounds like it’s possible for them to be self fruitful… Especially in dry areas which is all of California these days.
Thanks again to all of you.
Hoosierquilt, What are your 2-3 favorite pears and why? I had a couple Concorde for the grocery store that were really good. Given the grocery store downgrade in quality I am guessing that one is excellent when properly ripened.
Also what are the easier and hardest to get fruit from?
Well, my pears are still new, and only a few have produced to date. Hoping for a good set this year, and a way to keep the varmits out. The rodents and birds attack my pears worse than any other stone/pome fruit tree in my yard. Partly due to where my pear treees are planted, I think. But, I would say, Comice, Seckel, Concorde are all excellent. I will report back this year on any others I get to set and I actually get to eat And, if the pear was good as store-bought, you can only imagine how much better it will be off your own tree.