Douglas Pear

The Douglas pear scions I started are growing at an amazing rate. Is anyone a fan of Douglas? They seem like a hard pear tree to come by and makes me question their quality. Obviously they are highly disease and harsh environment tolerant.


I figured out why they are tolerant to our weather ,diseases, snd pests its because they are named after the county they are from in Kansas! Full text of "The Douglas pear"’m
This is an excellent guide on ripening times of Douglas pears among other useful information

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I’ve had one for 2 years. It’s supposedly precocious but no flowers yet.


What size is your tree? Maybe its on standard rootstock.

its was 5-6 ft this spring, 2 years old before I moved it. A little slow compared to other pears I grow. OHF87 from Cummins


These I grafted on wild callery rootstock are pretty similar height to that of yours with the exception of one which is over 12’ for some reason. I feel thats not bad growth at all if they hit 6’ here in a year or two. Pears hit that take off point when they suddenly double or triple their height. The old timers told me 1st year they sleep, second year they creep, third year they leap.

Yes. But bearing of fruit is another story. They say, “Plant pears for your heirs.”


Your right some of my pears I planted in my early twenties. They are all bearing now from my original planting but it took way to long.

Have eaten grocery store Douglas pears many years ago and they were very good I just hope I can rely on my memory and that they were what they said they were. The flesh was incredible but the skin was thick.

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My Douglas pears are all flowering this year on callery. They mature extremely fast as far as pears go.
This was the description of Douglas pears from Full text of "The Douglas pear"
"Historic, Archive Document

Do not assume content reflects current
scientific knowledge, policies, or practices.

! Held (m-c

A. H. Griesa Experimental Grounds


The Douglas Pear

The introduction of this new fruit will be on its merits, as the need’
of a good fruit at this season of the year for table use is very decided.
The luscious peach is gone, grapes can be had only from distant markets;
and a pear that can be grown so very bountifully in any place where
any other pear will survive (and most of them fail in the west), will be
welcomed by all. It is a seedling of the “Keiffer” crossed by the
" Duchess d’Angeleme." It ripens just before the “Keiffer,” is nearly
as large, of a beautiful yellow color, and fine in outline and shape.
The flesh is fine grained, juicy, rich, with a delicious flavor; it does not
seem to rot as it ripens and drop as the “Keiffer” does and hasn’t the
hard gritty core, being good all through. It is named the “Douglas”
because it originated in this county. The original tree first bore fruit
in roo2, when it was shown at our County Horticultural Sociey, and
received favorable notice. I have seen fruit on the tree every year
since, except when the frost killed all fruit here. The old tree grew in
the same row with others till a few years ago, in a thick seedling row,
some of them crowding it; then I advised to cut out some near by, but
this was delayed till, in midsummer after a rain, the owner cut out some,
leaving the tree with its crop standing and exposed to the glaring sun.
Its leaves turned yellow and stopped growth till fall with the fruit de-
cidedly smaller; but the next year, it again grew and produced its crop
as usual. Most pear trees would have blighted or died under such
treatment. I never saw blight on the old tree nor any in nursery.
The old tree is 14 or 15 years old now and has fruited every year since
T902. The trees are good nursery trees, in growth about like the
“Flemish Beauty.” They bud freely as does the "Keiffer/’ but never
have been affected with twig blight like the latter. The “Douglas” is
an early and constant bearer. One year trees bloomed in nursery row,
but that was the year of frost; the next year over half of the limbs had
on blossom buds, but were cut off to transplant the trees; the next year
some of them fruited in the orchard, and they still continue to bear.
No other pear tree or apple tree is so fruitful. The fruit is nearly as

large as the "Keiffers, ripening just before it, at a time when peaches
are out of season, and when a juicy fruit is needed. The color is
golden yellow with rarely a pink shading, covered with small grav dots.
The fruit has a long stem, is mostly in clusters; the flesh is juicy,
buttery, and fine-grained, with refreshing sprightly flavor. I believe it
is the most promising fruit I ever grew; and it has a future that no
other fruit can or has filled.

A Few Opinions of people who ought to know, shows how they
regard it. Two years ago I sent samples by mail before they were ripe,
and advised to try them when fully ripe. From the quick responses,
they could not have waited. Their opinions were to the effect that it
was better than the “Keiffers,” though not quite as good as the “An-
geleme,” which is further evidence of their having sampled them be-
fore they were ripe. This year I was delayed by sickness; when able,
I took some to our grocers and our fruit men, whose commendations
were all one could ask, as the following will show:

J. L. Messenger: “They are certainly a good eating pear, better
than Bartlett, as refreshing as Coca Cola. They are worthy of cultiva-

W. A. Dunmire: " It is fine, better than Bartlett or Clairgo; a very
good pear for the retail trade."

F. W. Hosford: " Better than any Bartlett or Keiffer, exceeding
juicy and good."

Wm. La Coss: “That is a very fine pear, better than Bartlett or
even Seckel. Fine shape, best quality, full of juice; comes at a time
when they would sell.”

John Hunzicker: “Certainly juicy, a good pear, better than
Bartlett, our best generally; no grit or hard lumps, good enough for
any one.”

H. Hollingberry: “I always thought the Seckel the best pear
we had, but this is even better; more juicy, fine grained, and refresh-

W. A. Guenther: "Good, is better than the Bartlett, very fine
grained and juicy; all the clerks are agreed in its excellence "

Wm. J. Busch: “That is fine, very juicy and sprightly; never ate
any better pear.”

Sam McCurdy: “As fine as any Bartlett, more juicy, and refresh-
ing flavor; also sure to sell.”

John McCurdy: “It is certainly a fine pear, better than Bartlett
or Seckel and no gritty parts. Its size and color make it desirable in
the market.”

J. A. Spaulding: “Far better than Keiffer, more juicy than Bart-
lett; a good color and size for retailing.”

S. J. Hunter, Professor of Entomology, K. S. U.: “I have exam-
ined the pear A. H. Griesa has named the Douglas, after the county
in which it originated. This pear in shape, size and color resembles
the Keiffer; it differs markedly however, in texture and flavor. In text-
ure it is almost as fine as the Bartlett, and is remarkable for its entire
absence of the heavy wood core, so common in the Keiffer. In flavor
it mav be compared to the refreshing juicy taste of the Duchess. It is
noteworthy that such a pear should be produced at such a late season,
after all varieties of desirable pears have gone.”

B. F. Smith, President, Douglas County Hort. Society: “A new
fruit of merit. The fruit man, who desires to keep in the front rank
of the great army of fruit growers, is ever on the alert for new and bet-
ter varieties than we have. Fruit perfection is not at hand as yet; but
improvement is being made along the line of orchard and berry fruits.
The industry is growing more interesting as the years go by, owing to
the profit and pleasure there is in the business. We are greatly in need
of a new sort of pear that is not subject, to blight. Pear culture has
fallen behind on account of this blighting of nearly all the old favorites;
as the Bartlett, Anjou, and others. Recently a new seedling has been
produced from Keiffer seed. It is about as large, ripens about the
same time; in flavor, to my taste, as good as the well know Bartlett.
The tree is a strong grower and begins to bear when three years old.
This pear will be introduced by A. H. Griesa, the originator of the
Kansas and Cardinal Raspberries, the Mele Strawberry, and other
fruits. Mr. Griesa has had many years of experience in testing new
fruits, and has never offered any new fruit that was unworthy or un-
profitable. It is the opinion of the writer, who has forty year’s experi-
ence with growing pears, that this seedling will become famous as well
as profitable throughout the country.”

I.J. Gray, Secretary, Douglas County Hort. Society: “The new
pear which you have developed by uniting a seedling Keiffer and
Duchess and naming it the Douglas, is indeed a production of the
highest merit. Its smooth exterior renders it attractive to the eye, and
the rind is much thinner than any variety with which I am acquainted.
Its flavor cannot fail to be pleasing and its juice is superabundant. The
length of its stem is favorable, and the core is the smallest I have ob-
served of any of its size. However, its chief excellence is in the fact
that it will come into bearing the next year after planting. That is
bound to make it a winner. You are to be congratulated.”

A. Willis. Ottawa: “The pear you sent me was examined with
great interest. It seems to be a new fruit of great value. I am not
sure the length of time it has been in cultivation would give it full as-
surance of the continued excellence that is at present promised; but
surely the promise is good. The fruit is good sized, has a rich yellow
color and excellent flavor; a pear one would be glad to have as some-
thing nice to give to his friends. I shall be glad to watch this pear
with interest, and expect to find much pleasure in its future as time
goes on.”

W. P. Stark, Mo.: “In the Douglas we have another " Kansas,”
another “Cardinal,” and another “Early Melon.” We suggest you
name the “Douglas,” “A. H. Griesa,” because we believe the pear has
merit. In thus giving such promising variety to posterity, you are also
leaving a monument of a kind that will do people good, great good we

J, H. Skinner, Topeka : “We were very much pleased with the
sample of the Douglas pear, the quality is very good. We liked it par-
ticularly because it is more acid and sprightly than most pears. It is
fine grained and with little core. If the tree is thrifty and also a good
bearer, you have something worth introducing.”

W. S. Griesa: " The Douglas seems to be a worthy new pear; one
that will make a place for itself. Ripening with the Keiffer and with
quality as good or better than Bartlett, are the two facts which should
commend it. Further it seems to be more blight proof than the former
which alone makes it more valuable. We wish you success in its in-

H. W. Collingwood, Editor: " The pear is certainly a beautiful
one in appearance and think the flavor first rate. I hope it will prove
a worthy son of its parent, the Keiffer, as I have always felt he needs
some good children of high character to take the curse away from the

H. W. Collingwood, Editor Rural New Yorker: The Rural New
Yorker, Jan. 21, 191 1 (Fig. 24), shows an excellent picture of this pear,
near natural size. “The quality was exceedingly good; flesh tender,
juicy, and melting; flavor is rich and sweet. It is a handsome pear;
and its general excellence seems to promise a great future, both for the
home and for market use.”


Sandard Trees, 2 years, 4 feet and up, branched, each $3.00.
Write for conditions. "


Seems like all my douglas I grafted 2 years ago on larger trees bloomed this year and 2 of them produced a pear or two.

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Are they good?

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They are good but the peel is very thick. They are a little like Bartlett and a little like duchess which are sugary and nice flavored but lack the pear flavor you get from something such as Bosc, my small yellow pear, Korean giant, or Drippin honey to name a few. I would call pear flavor an undertone of spice but yet it’s not. Harrow sweet has a little of the flavor I’m talking about. This year was nothing special because it was the first year so perhaps they will improve with time. The flesh is juicy and sweet and they have a characteristic acidic taste which is good. I would rate them better than duchess. Many people rave about Bartlett and they are ok but to me but there are many better pears with more fireblight resistance. Harrow sweet would have replaced Bartlett had it been larger I think.


I Agree about Bartlett, I find it to have a spice flavor but kind of flat beyond that. I think it misses on sweet and maybe acid for me.

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Thank you! Still one I think would do well in Texas I think. Good report.

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I’ve got 3 of the 3 year old Douglas trees so this year we will get a decent harvest weather permitting. I’ve got a 4th tree I’m going to topwork this year to a multgraft tree so I can sample many new varieties. I like to get a taste of many different pears so I know which are truly the best here. It’s a long tedious process of trial and error to find the best pears with so little data available.


Douglas was damaged by the cold again this year. The blooms were damaged and did not set many fruitlets. It blooms very early.

I’ve now got 4 of these trees 2 of which are around 15-20 feet tall. They are gorgeous fast growing trees. 3 of the trees have a few pears on them this year in spite of the inhospitable weather. My biggest concern as mentioned is the early bloom time but no more room than what they take up I may need to accept some years I get a bunch of pears and other years I won’t.


Those are 3rd leaf, right? Seems to be about as precocious as Keiffers

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Yes it’s very similar to kieffer in the way it grows. I top worked large callery with them so in this situation it takes 2-3 years to get pears.