I had a few pear trees planted last year that produced - Hosui and Shinko. I bought an unknown European Pear from Edible landscaping that had a pear on it. I also have a very large unknown pear on my fathers property that produces pears some years.
The fruit from the European Pear tree I bought was sweet, soft and edible straight off of the tree. The pears off of my father’s tree were hard as a rock. For the trees that produce hard pears what is the process to make them edible? Do you store them refrigerated, unrefrigerated, how long? How do I tell which pear variety produces hard pears vs soft pears - or do I have the logic wrong?
The Asian pears are edible straight off the tree.
For peach varieties the vendors usually list/stress the chill hours. Are chill hours important for pears in regards to hardiness/bloom time/etc.? I see low chill pears being sold in Virginia (way under 500 chill hours), you would never see a low chill peach tree being sold in Virginia.
What varieties are good for the mid-Atlantic area? European or Asian varities? Fire blight resistance is important. What rootstock is recommended for hard clay soil?
I’m guessing the hard pears are kieffer and the process is usually allowing them to ripen on the table. They turn a more yellow color. The pear that tree ripened is likely Bartlett. Ohxf87 is very FB resistant. Great choices on European pears you planted this year. Ohxf varieties do great in clay soil as does callery pears.
I find great info about rare fruit varieties in books. For pears, the best are “The Pears of New York” (Hedrick, 1921) and “Catalog and evaluation of the pear collection at the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station” (Hartman, 1957). These and many others are freely available as PDF files on the internet.
I ran across a pear tree in a churchyard in a tiny town and the fruit was dropping off the tree so I snagged a couple; very hard, kinda sour. I did what I heard is required for some pears in that I puttem in the fridge for a while. It ended up being a long while, maybe six weeks…at least a month, anyway. Upon removal they were fairly soft and wonderfully flavored. A lot of pears come into their own in cold storage; these improved dramatically.
Edit: I’ll add, in response to the .pdf in the next post, that I also kept some Asian pears (a Jilin Mkt selection, not available to the public) for a very long time and again the flavor and texture improved considerably.