Experience with 'Paragon' pear?

Have any members here fruited the ‘Paragon’ pear?

The release flyer is not that informative and the longer paper from Hilton doesn’t seem to be available.

Any experience with the fruit or tree would be much appreciated!


I’ve never known anyone that actually grew it but at least one study which is the one at Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center (SOREC) show consistent high ratings by people who tasted it http://www.applegater.org/pdf/2014/v07n03/v07n03p12.pdf . It’s a hard pear to find http://shop.cumminsnursery.com/shop/pear-trees/paragon. I’ve got no information available about weather tolerance, disease resistance, storage life of pears, yield etc. so I like many others have been hesitant on planting this variety. Harry and David’s were reported to have taken notice of it in 2008 Comice still crowd favorite at pear tasting event.

I wasn’t able to find out much and came up with the same links as Clark. I decided to take the dive and have an 11/16 grade being shipped to me this spring from Cummins. I’ll put it on my list to make a report on it with Kentucky Limbertwig apple when the time comes unless someone else has ordered it up here in the Northeast and gets to it first.

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This is an old thread and I wanted to follow up about Paragon and find out from those people growing this pear how the pear is doing. Paragon has very good genetics!

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I put one in two years ago and it is growing with reasonable, but slightly below average, vigor and has not fruited yet. I generally have a fair amount of trouble with fireblight, and it has not had a strike. It has been a healthy tree otherwise. I need to move the tree this winter; hopefully it will still be in a position to fruit next year and I’ll have something useful to report about the fruit. I was able to get a copy of the Hilton and Sugar paper from the Proc. of XII Int’l Pear Symposium. I don’t recall it containing that much additional information, however.


Thank you for posting! You may already know that Paragon came from the Oregon State University breeding program. According to Cummins nursery It’s a cross of “Comice x red Bartlett. Ordinary looking, Bartlett-like pear with extraordinary flavor. Recieves highest overall flavor rating at Sorec annual pear tasting.”
Comice is not very vigorous here in Kansas at least so far and paragon has been planted and died multiple times here at my farm. Im not giving up on them and hope to grow them sooner or later. It is reportedly very disease resistant and sounds like your findings support that.


When I get a chance to find and OCR it, I’ll try to add a bit from the Hilton and Sugar paper on the pedigree.

My tree is roughly comparable vigor to ‘Comice’ and shows less vigor than ‘Bartlett.’

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Here is the abstract from the paper:

A pear breeding program was conducted at Oregon State University’s Southern Oregon Experiment Station, now part of the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center, from 1911 to the 1980s, A number of crosses were made with ‘Cornice’ as a parent, often with ‘Max Red Bartlett’ as the other parent. Two named cultivars, ‘Rogue Red’ (‘Comice’ x (‘Seckel’ x Farrningdale’)) and ‘Cascade’ (‘Comice’ x ‘Max Red Bartlett’), both with red peel color, were released in 1969 and 1986, respectively. Two other products of that program, initially designated 633E and 2-301, did not have red color but were selected for their superior eating quality. Local southern Oregon growers are producing these two cultivars in small quantities. Cultivar 633E has been named ‘Paragon’ and is a cross of ‘Comice’ x ‘Max Red Bartlett’. The skin is green and very palatable. The fruit consistently ranks extremely high in pear tastings conducted at the Research Center, ‘Paragon’ is ‘Bartlett’-shaped, blooms with ‘Bosc’, turns yellow with ripening, and matures between ‘Bartlett’ and ‘Comice’. The storage life is approximately four months. Cultivar 2-301 (‘Cornice’ x ‘Louis Pasteur’) is currently marketed under the name ‘BestEver’. The shape is round-pyriform and the peel is mottled-russet and does not change color with ripening. Maturity is after ‘Cornice’ and storage life in normal atmosphere is 6-8 months. ‘Paragon’ and ‘BestEver’ pears represent the final releases of the pear breeding program conducted by Oregon State University in southern Oregon.

Some points that may be useful for someone growing are:

The fruit holds texture and quality for a minimum of three months at 0 deg. C. The optimal firmness for harvest is 4.5-5.9 kg. A minimum of 14 days of chilling are needed to ensure uniform ripening. ‘Paragon’ produces a vigorous tree with good annual crops. The tree flowers with ‘Bosc’ and matures after ‘Bartlett’ but before ‘Comice’


Is it still resisting disease well? They changed the variety name to ‘Yungen’ as you can see https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/AccessionDetail.aspx?id=1574253


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I lost mine to storms like i did with several types. Last year storms were bad in my area. The storms come in stfong nearly every year now.

Based upon what I read I think that it might just be one of the most disease resistant pears around, and the fruit quality sounds incredible, so I have requested that variety, if it is as good as it sounds then it should become a must have pear, as well as be used in hybridization projects due to it’s disease resistance, and great fruit qualities.

Interesting. I don’t remember either of those pears standing out at fruit tastings at the All About Fruit Show tasting hosted by the Home Orchard Society. Most of the pears come from the germplasm repository in Corvallis.

Although if they ripen early like Bartlett, maybe they get missed in the two sweeps of pickings for the show. And varieties don’t get individual special treatment to assure that they ripen properly.

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I have found out that this pear can be ‘susceptible to fire blight’ see here Pears - Purvis Nursery and Orchard

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The fruit ripens at the same time as ‘Bosc’, as ‘Doyenne du Comice’ and as ‘Seckle’, about a month after Bartlett’. They say that the fruit is even better than the fruit of ‘Doyenne du Comice’, probably because of the easier to digest peel. It has been stated that it’s “Comice in the skin of a Bartlett”. Look at this PDF http://www.applegater.org/pdf/2014/v07n03/v07n03p12.pdf

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Thanks for the link. Interesting. One pear that has stood out from the tastings was labeled Thornley. I see a Mike Thorniley mentioned in the article as growing BestEver. I wonder if they may be the same pear. I have a young Thornley tree growing at my place because the fruit stood out among hundreds at the tasting.

On a sad note, the town of Talent, where Thorniley’s Best Ever pear orchard resides, is one of the Oregon towns that may be essentially destroyed by the wildfires that are raging in the west.

Thornley’ was named after ‘Thornley, J.

Here is info on the variety ‘ThornleyPI 541274 GRIN-Global

Click on ‘Passport’ read that, then click on ‘Observation’, make sure to look at all the 8 pages there. I would have never thought of getting that pear based upon what they show there, they don’t show much about it’s disease resistance, and they don’t mention the fruit quality for it. Yet I will take your word for it.

Did it have a unique flavor?

Aromatic, Spicy,sweet, buttery, fine textured, no grit - sounds pretty good to me.

My notes form the tasting like 10 years ago just say “universal appeal”. That isn’t great praise, but apparently many people liked it at the show.

I don’t love that it sounds very susceptible to pseudemonas.

BTW, same notes said Doyenne du Comice was the best at that show to my taste.

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Doyenne du Comice’ is too disease sensitive for my liking, that is one reason why I am excited about ‘Yungen’ (Paragon). Our ‘Honeysweet’ pear tree has a 5 for Pseudomonas, most things that I have great interest in are either a 1 or a 3 for Pseudomonas, a few varieties that I have great interest in do not say the Pseudomonas resistance, yet have great disease resistance in general. The good thing is that ‘Pseudomonas’ does not spread as far as fire blight does. I am not sure what a 7 would mean VS a 5 or a 3. I think that people should try using hybridization with ‘Thornley’ and with other varieties like ‘Honeysweet’ to make them more disease resistant.The description of ‘Thornley’ makes it sound a lot like ‘Seckel’ and varieties related to it.

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Yes. It has not been very vigorous this year, but is healthy. I am ~80% confident that it has not had a real bloom yet, so I will reserve judgment on fire blight resistance overall. I have a number of native carriers of fire blight in my locale and this past spring had nearly-ideal conditions for it, so I doubt it is highly susceptible, though.

I had not seen that, thanks for noting it.

I have not had noticeable trouble with Pseudomonas on my pears, although I usually get frosts and an occasional snowfall over the winter. I have trouble with peach leaf curl, so usually apply copper a couple times which could perhaps be unknowingly mitigating it.

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Any updates on paragon? Productivity, disease resistance, etc

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