Harrow Delight is said to ripen a full month before Bartlett. How is this possible? In my area Bartlett ripens some years in July. Is harrow delight everything it’s said to be? It’s reported to be “sweet, juicy flesh that is smooth and buttery” https://www.starkbros.com/products/fruit-trees/pear-trees/harrow-delight-pear. Some say it’s a zone 6 pear but I’ve also seen it reported cold hardy to zone 4 http://www.raintreenursery.com/Harrow_Delight_Pear_OHxF_333.html. In Canada it’s reported to be 2 weeks earlier than Bartlett so again many inconsistencies exist http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/02-039.htm. Dave Wilson reported it as neither zone 4 or 6 but rather zone 5 http://www.davewilson.com/product-information/product/harrow-delight-pear. It appears to not be trademarked and I cannot find a patent on the cultivar. Cummins said “HARROW DELIGHT From the Agriculture Canada station at Harrow, this is a high-quality, early, fresh market pear with excellent blight resistance. Also resistant to pear scab. Harvest about 10 days before Bartlett. Fruit is medium size and similar to Bartlett in appearance with excellent flavor and smooth flesh. Ground color is yellow with a red blush. Early bearing. - http://www.cumminsnursery.com/pear.htm”
Harrow Delight is the earliest ripening disease-resistant pear I consider worth growing. The taste is passable. The texture okay to variable. It gives you your first taste of pear of the season, when nothing else is ready, which is nice.
Next in the season comes Harvest Queen several days later, which in recent years has skyrocketed to the top of my list of all-time favorite pears. HD doesn’t hold a candle to HQ or other truly great pears like Magness or Comice, but it is worth a spot in the orchard if you have some extra room.
I’m growing it now Matt but it has not fruited yet. Sounds great!
Me too. My tree is still small…
Are you sure your tree is a Bartlett? I’ve grown two different strains of Bartlett (the regular green strain, and one of the red strains) and neither of mine ever ripened in July. I don’t recall them even ripening in Aug. As you know, you and I live relatively close to one another, so our ripening times should be fairly similar.
I would say Harrow Delight is almost as good as Bartlett, imo. I can’t really compare it to a lot, because I haven’t grown a lot of different varieties of pears.
Matt, good to hear Harvest Queen is so tasty. I have quite a few of those I grafted last spring.
It was sold as a red bartlett to me but I’m sure of nothing when it comes to varieties. In many cases the nurseries growing them have not fruited them. The pears are the red blushing Bartlett photos in this thread Here comes the 2016 apple and Pear harvest!. It’s true that I’ve never seen another red blushing Bartlett. They are a gorgeous and delicious pear! Some years they ripen mid July but last year they were later (August 6th).
Starkcrimson? Doest that variety always ring in the American pear season? It is a red Bartlett strain if I’m remembering right. I know BPM is a an early red Bartlett type also but I think they are mostly grown in Europe.
Does your Red Bartlett have the really strong taste of a Bartlett? I have a Maxx Red Bartlett which looks a little different than the pears in the photo. It may well be a sport as wildscaper mentions. There are lots of Bartlett sports. They now have Fuji sports which ripen a month or more earlier than the original Fuji.
My Bartlett ripened around the first of Sept. most years (it’s gone now via fireblight). My Red Bartlett ripens about a week later.
It does taste like Bartlett but in some ways it’s much better and other ways it’s not. It has a tendency to be occasionally grainy here and there. I have tasted Bartlett that were like that. These pears are dripping, sugary delicious but lacks the buttery dense quality pear texture and flavor my small yellow pear has. Quality pears are challenging to find but I grow a few of them. I will send you a box of pears in July and you can see if you can distinguish what they are.
That’s a generous offer Clark. Maybe I can send you a box of peaches, but unfortunately I can’t promise anything. As you can imagine, July is the height of our season. If the peach crop makes, I’m so busy at that time, I value every moment of rest, lol.
Life got busy again last year and i forgot about sending you some pears. I would love to send you a box of pears so we will see how this year goes. Ive got a bunch i want you to try.
Wow thanks Clark. The number of pears I’ve grown is somewhat limited. I’ve grown Green Jade, Harrow Sweet, Harrow Delight, Bartlett, Red Bartlett. I’ve tried Keiffer and Seckle from neighbors. Would love to try a small sample of some of your pears.
I have an even better idea though. You’re not far from KC, maybe sometime when you come through KC this summer, maybe you could stop by the orchard and I’ll trade you a few peaches for a few of your pears (say a dozen?). That way you can also try a few different peaches we have ripe at any one time?
Sounds great Olpea! Lets plan on it this summer!
Harrow Delight is remarkable for its earliness only, IMO. Here, it doesn’t get up quite the sugar of Bart. However, pear lovers should like it fine.
I like the harrow delight @alan but our weather is hot which may make them better. It is different from the taste of bartlett but very pleasant. My limited experience is not reliable yet with this pear. Last year was my first year of it fruiting. It may have been a good year. @Olpea you’ve grown them longer than me here what is your opinion here of them? @alan i think like you said climate differences make a signifigant difference when it comes to flavor. Red delicious from washington tastes like cardboard which is a mystery to me because here they taste wonderful! I appreciate all the good information you have given us @alan your a wealth of information.
Between the issues of weather and palates the variables are difficult to gauge. I also have nectarines, peaches and plums competing for my love in HD’s season. I don’t start eating pears appreciatively until late Sept. Sometime in Nov our relationship blossoms over a good cheese.
For me they are very close in terms of quality of flavor. My one Harrow Delight currently producing is somewhat more productive than Bartlett, and much more productive than Red Bartlett.
Perhaps as a result of crop load (i.e. inverse relationship to taste) I’ve found Red Bartlett seems to taste the best of the three, but they all taste good to me.
I think Gurney’s sells this as Crisp n’ Sweet. They market it as something special but that’s kind of what they’re good at. Do you like this one?
Glad to read this! I grafted Harrow Delight last spring. Hopefully fruit next year.
I added Harrow Delight and have a few scions of it growing well. Seems from most post it is at least a good tasting pear to ripen early. Glad I added it. Does anyone have a pretty good fix on it’s bloom sequence compared to Harrow Sweet? I’m hoping it blooms as late as HS because most years this pear escapes or survives our late cold weather. Any input is welcome. Thanks