The more pears i grow the more information i find out! Potomac, maxine, ewart, small yellow pear, harrow sweet, harrow delight, warren, abate fetel, seckle, clara frijs, clapps favorite, and magness blooms are not open yet. Just pointing out the obvious when i say kieffer, improved kieffer, duchess d’ angoulme, douglas, dana hovey, altoona, drippin honey, ya li, red bartlett, ayers, farmingdale, korean giant, hosui, menie, plumblee, and ts hardy are blooming now. This information im obtaing is critical to growing fruit in this area. The problem is most people start growing fruit when they are 30 - 50 but with pears they take many years to bloom so by the time they figure out what i know tbey are 70. The advantage i have is i always grew things. I harvested pears with my mom as a small child. Growing fruit is what my family did and is doing in some cases. My grandfather showed me his tricks to growing fruit trees from the time i could walk. My mother took me in the gardens with her and my Dad would rototill to cultivate between rows and my mother harvest green beans ,tomatoes, etc… and watered and powdered the plants. My family grew peaches, apples persimmons, pawpaw, nectarines, nut trees, mulberry, berries eg. Gooseberry & blackberry mostly when i was a small child. My family knew very little about modern agriculture. Having grown up around goodness like that if i can i plan to leave the next generation critical pear growing information such as bloom time, disease control, soil prep etc. The right type of gardening stops erosion, is healthier, requires less or no pesticide. Many natural methods can be used to control problems but when those methods fail i need to convey how to handle it. Im still gathering data but my pear research data is growing and the fruitful results are increasing all the time. Hopefully in my lifetime i can leave the next generation all the information they need to grow fruit in Kansas reliably! Someday pears may get the attention they deserve! Im focusing on pears because they are a critical crops that was overlooked for years. My family did not believe in spraying anything because tgey did not know about sprays. Some well placed sprays like copper if sprayed at tbe right time once a year can be very useful. I still have a lot to learn but what i have learned is what i thought or read about originally is wrong. Pears such as harrow delight, douglas, dana hovey, harrow sweet,duchess d’ angoulme and many others produce quickly generating an income. Some of those same pears bloom late. Those same pears taste good and some are disease tolerant. You see where im going with this thst they can be commercially grown in this state (any state) year after year consistently. Some people have a goal to be rich but my goal is to share information which ultimately makes the world a better place.
And you won’t leave out pictures. Might be worth putting a book together on line, and have your comments, followed by time line per pear, pictures of blossoms, fruit, as well as diseases and insects.
Your right. I think that I’m just catching on to how to grow pears and I still have much to learn. You just don’t see many people commercially growing them in my area because of late cold weather and fireblight. My later blooming varieties are becoming my most dependable and many of them have high degrees of fireblight resistance. If growers chose good types I think they can be grown fairly easy here. Pears have always been enjoyable to grow even with the problems they have.
Another advantage to growing pears is that very little added fertilizer or irrigation is required.
There is definately a learning curve. Pears are deceptively easy at first but then there are things like fireblight, blossom blast , rust, psylla, japanese beetles, etc… then weather plays an even bigger part in it all. By then most people realize they are growing the wrong varities they are older and dont want to change from what they are doing. The investment in time and money is substantial which is why forums like this are so important. There are limted resources in this world and most people sink the full amount they are willing to into that initial investment. With many people going in all or nothing growing orchards or farming in general you can imagine that heartbreak when they grow an early bloomer like douglas and they lose crops the first 2 years. We call it bad luck but its not luck at all its lack of information. @Auburn your right when done correctly few if any chemicals are needed eg. Fertilizer, herbecide, pesticide etc…
For someone that’s very analytical like me this forum and its members have been a goldmine. Don’t have much to contribute right now because I only grow a Bartell (picked it before i know anything about fire blight) and a Hosui… maybe one day when I have more land.
Hopefully some day you write a book(s).
One thing that I am learning is that people here in North Carolina think that fig trees are the lowest maintenance, lowest disease and lowest pest problem fruit trees, that are the most agreeable with our climate for our area, well the ones who know what a fig tree is anyway. Yet I am starting to think that pear trees are more so those things. They handle the cold better, they are low maintenance. As far as disease and pest resistance so far I have not seen a problem with those things, yet we have not had a crop yet. Fig trees here can have high maintenance problems here and there, just like pear trees can, at times fig trees sure can have pest problems and even get sick. fig trees start out very sensitive to the cold. As they age if the trees adapt to the climate a lot of those problems go away to some extent.
I am starting to think that some pomegranates can easily survive our climate most years. It can be surprising what survives in a said climate. Some of the most cold hardy fig trees originated from the Island of Malta which is zone 11 many years, and if it freezes there then it’s only for a few minutes, things there don’t come in and out of dormancy several times in a single winter there like they can here.
It’s certainly a very good thing to learn what truly can grow where, and what produces at the youngest age, and how to speed that up if possible. It’s very rare yet very few of over 1,000 varieties of pomegranate actually produce much younger than other varieties, those ones sometimes have a flower produce on a cutting like this one variety that I am growing,
I was curious about pomegranate once and grew it outside and it came back from the roots one year. They are fairly hardy! Document your research and letme know us know. I may write a book at some point since it helps convey the information.
Pomegranates can vary a lot in cold hardiness, and one of the most cold hardy ones may loose leaves easier with a late frost than others that are about as cold hardy, others about the same cold hardiness may not flower even though their leaves do not seem much bothered by the frost, yet in half a zone or a zone milder in the winter, the same variety flowers every year. other cold hardy varieties are more likely to die with the cold than others. Different parts of a pomegranate plant can by cold resistant and can be cold sensitive at the same time. Maybe one day when I understand which pomegranate plants have what cold sensitivities and what cold strengths, then I’d try experimenting some with hybridization.
I will keep detailed records, even on simple things like taking photos of every stage of flowering, type of flower, location of flowering, time of flowering, and of the leaves. Pomegranates are a mystery to lots of people.
Here in coastal N. California I am moving a bit more toward pears than apples. Conditions here allow me to get nearly or actually perfect fruit with apples or pears with no sprays and little fertilizing.
My Conference pear is a wonder. It fits the textbook description: vigorous growth, and in its 5th leaf or so, maybe a few more, it burst into heavy bloom like a flowering crab. Fruit set was very heavy, apparently self-fertile as described. Elongated fruit, like Bosc, in distinctive clusters as in the literature. Heavy fruit load spreads the branches making for a fine centerpiece shade and ornamental tree on a strong root. That is, if you don’t mind banging your head on dozens of low-hanging fruit. Right now, mid-April, the tree is covered in white blossoms and I can’t bear to prune it. Thinking about sequential harvesting of dozens of pears, letting them finish in our sun room (we’re in the cool Redwood fog belt) and relishing them for weeks in late Sept, into October, just like last year. Quality is very good, not quite as superb as Comice, Ubileen, or a good Bosc, but just fine with the other attributes.
Anyone else growing Conference? Somewhere I read that pears may be the longest-lived members of all Rosaceae. A true legacy. Wickson reported that pears were the top surviving pome fruit in Spanish Missions, surviving centuries of drought, Frost, flood and neglect. Yeah, baby.
I think you will enjoy this video on vimeo Napoleon’s army planted pear trees fact or fiction? . Those graft unions were apparently made at the time of Napoleons army!