Here comes the 2016 apple and Pear harvest!

It looked like brown rot on the surface - which I’ve never seen on pears

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I have seen rot in my A pears every year but not that many to get me upset. Rot from bug damage is understandable. Rot from the core is frustrating.


Our Luscious pear tree at home here was so heavily laden the branches were nearly breaking. The deer wiped out the pears and leaves that hung over the circular enclosing fence.Then we left for the weekend to attend a wedding. Nary a pear left when we returned, and the top of the tree was broken. Time to dig out the coon trap! I don’t know if it was coons or squirrels, but they are now both on my hit list. There must have been a bushel or more of pears on that tree. Fortunately, I have pears in the fridge from my Clapp’s Favorite yet. Meanwhile, I have 95 mousetraps set out on my rural property where I have apples and berries. Have caught about 20 critters there so far.


I’ve had raccoons break out the top of a tree before. Sure sounds like something they would do.

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@ The pears I was referring to as being so beautiful were your Blushed Bartletts. Thanks for recommending Duchess. Here in the Savannah Georgia area (HZ 8b) we also have to be careful about chill hours. A 900 + chill hour tree would probably be a dud here more often than it would bear. I only have space for one more tree, and Acker’s Home will probably get that spot unless I can find a Leona that someone has grafted. We do get some wonderful fire blight resistant pears down here. You gust have to know what to look for. I started a new thread about Southern Pears where I showed pictures of some of my pears and described the varieties. Most of my trees are too young to produce, but of the ones that are producing the two best are Golden Boy and Southern Bartlett (no apparent genetic relations to Bartlett).

About rot. I was spared. This year was a terrible year for pears for most people down here in the Deep South. It was pretty much a total scratch for a lot of my email and FB friends on the gulf coast. That’s probably on account of the super warm winter the South had this past winter. I barely got 600 chilling hours. Some of the folks on the gulf got less than a hundred hours. Here in Statesboro (50 miles NW of Savannah) most people had sparse production. That seems to be because the pears over produced last year. My pears are just starting out, so they did pretty good given their age and the size of the trees.

An elderly lady in my church invited me to go out to her farm and pick her Kieffer and Orient Pears. Her husband has been in the nursing home for years and she is way beyond managing the trees and has been for probably ten years. Needless to say the trees are in bad shape. Some of them have been nearly taken over by their callary pear root stock. But I got some very oddly shaped Kieffers off the trees which I have since turned into pickles. But this lady is the only other person in my area that I know of that had any pears at all. Well there is a pear tree on the side of the road at a farm house out in the county that I watch every year. It had just a smattering. From the road it looks like a Pineapple or a Baldwin.

@Northwoodswis4: Here is a home remedy I learned from a local nurseryman that works pretty good at keeping squirrels out of a pear tree, if you can reach most of the branches, and if the tree is not in a situation where it is so easy for the squirrels to jump tree to tree. Buy the bulk size garlic powder. At the first sine that squirrels are taking interest in your trees, hang old socks with the garlic powder in the limbs. This won’t stop a squirrel from going into the tree and taking off with a pear. But it will stop them from sitting in a tree and bighting all the pears off the tree in one afternoon and either leaving them all on the ground or leisurely at the squirrel’s convenience coming back and eating the seeds out of them.

If all the pears were eaten and not broken to bits and seeds eaten out, my guess is that it was not a squirrel. you would have a bunch of bitten into and pieces of pear on the ground if the squirrels were your primary problem. I have no idea if the garlic powder will work on raccoons. It seemed to keep opossums off the one muscadine vine that I physically can’t protect with netting. God bless.


You might like this post about Leona pears from earlier this year Leona Pear .
We get Fireblight here just like in the south so we are careful what pears we grow. Looks like you have a nice setup. If you need some help tracking down a Leona I at least know where to get scion wood. Maybe someone will offer a tree this year. I grafted mine on callery. This is Leona today with its foliage still perfect when most pears are not looking so great! I tucked it in between two autumn olives since they are nitrogen fixers.


Thank you for the info. That is a beautiful young tree. I know several people who grow it who are willing to give me some scion wood. I’m trying to create a multi variety tree out of a second Ayers Pear that I have. I’m also tempted to start grafting some other pears into my LeConte’ tree. Since it is so similar to Golden Boy, I really don’t need a tree full of LeConte’ pears. My goal is to at least have at least one branch of the various reportedly good varieties for evaluation and comparison.

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I picked the last of my Duchess pears today. I picked them early because everything is picking on them because they are sugary sweet. These were my last 10 pears and not all weighed a pound though most did. A couple were close to 1 1/2 pounds I picked earlier. They are An excellent pear on a good year worthy of being named after the Duchesse of d’Angouleme. On a rainy year they are slightly bland but still better than a store bought Bartlett. The pears were previously known as Poire des Eparonnais prior to 1820. The duchess granted permission to name the pears after herself. She was sent a basket of the Poire des Eparonnais fruit in 1820. If you want to know more about the duchess see this link for the basics Marie Thérèse of France - Wikipedia. These are the pictures of the last of pears I harvested today. I usually weigh pears the first year to make sure I chose rootstocks wisely. In this case I used callery rootstocks. I will graft a couple of duchess on BET rootstocks later which may produce a larger pear and a much bigger tree. I used a pear with marks on it throughout to give you a better idea of what these pears are like. You can see they are all fairly uniform at around a pound each although 1 or 2 were slightly smaller. Again let me express my apologies for posting so many pear pictures. Pears are a lot of fun for me to grow!


Clark, do not apologize. Fire away with the photographs!

When they are ripe, can you please take a picture of one sliced in half, or with a bite taken out? How is the texture?

Nice haul.

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Texture is fine grained but not melting. They are sprightly, sugary, and very pleasant tasting. In the stage they are now they taste like the finest Asian pear. As they mellow some and turn yellow they will transform into a softer, sweeter , very pleasant flavored pear. It is hard to eat an entire Duchess pear because of the enormous size!

More pictures, not less!!! Seriously, I love looking at photographs of the various varieties. God bless.



Don’t stop. I get a lot of enjoyment from seeing your post. Bill

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I agree. Please keep’em coming. I am very interested in pears especially.

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This is the last of the pears and apples for the season. Always nice to see this final bucket of my seedling crabapples I love so much! They are very early this year!


Remember the Drippin Honey pears I harvested on August 13th? I’m still eating them on October 28th! If your not growing this variety already get one! I can’t recommend it enough! I’ve kept them in the crisper since harvest and we are eating 10-20 of them a week. I’ve been slowing down to 2-3 a week as I’m starting to run out of them.


My apple crop was strange this year as the McIntosh (LindaMac) normally ripen around October 1st but this year ripe Sept. 15th. My Albemarle pippens normally ready October 1-15th and this year ready around Sept 20th. The Cortland, Honeycrisp, Red Delicious and Northern Spy came around their normal time.

My Bartlett pears were about a week late this year and ran into the same harvest time as the plums! Hard to can up both at the same time. Then the grapes ripened
two weeks earlier than normal and I ended up loosing 75% of them as I was too busy canning pears and plums and did not think to check the grapes. I still ended up with enough grape juice and jelly but did not have so many to give away as I usually have done.


The fruits are gorgeous on your trees! I can’t imagine a tree could look much better!

I agree with Clark! Just beautiful!

The Albemarle look particularly good

Thanks! The photo of the Albemarle was my mistake as I thinned the whole
tree in June but somehow forgot the one branch in the photo. It still bore really big apples but was weeping to the ground due to the weight. Luckily it did not break.
I have never has such large Albemarle pippens nor so early as I did this year.
The crop is 1/3 of what I had last year but the size was gigantic on each apple
this year. Almost too big to eat. I have one packed for lunch today.