Space is not an issue in Kansas so I have to ask in that situation what pears would you grow? Fireblight can be a big concern here at times. Copper and antibiotic were very effective this year. Typically I lose a tree per year to FB.
Clark, I don’t know about FB vulnerability, but I think the dessert pears are underappreciated. Dana’s Hovey and White Doyenne are two that are considered a pear connoisseur’s choice, and my limited experience with them supports that. I think Seckels are great too. I’ve had good luck with Gold Spice but it never gets that melting quality some good pears have, at least I don’t get it.
I also like Anjou and Bosc, and common or not, there’s nothing wrong with a good Bartlett. Flemish Beauty is a great pear but the reason you don’t see more of them is because the old orchards were pretty well decimated by the FB epidemic before the Old Home Farmingdale rootstocks were used.
You already know that rootstock has a big influence on FB susceptibility; I’m kinda thinking that bloom window as it relates to weather conditions has a lot to do with it too, and a pear that dodges FB in one area might be quite susceptible to it in another.
But there’s a whole lot more about pears that I don’t know than there is that I do, so I’ll stop now!
Harvest Queen and Magness are tops. Gorham is good too.
I’d like to grow Comice but it won’t work in my climate. I’d also like to try Magness
If disease weren’t a problem too, I’d go with Beurre Superfin.
I’d go with my two favorite in my orchard, Korean Giant and Harrow Sweet.
Besides tasting very good, they are very precocious and productive. They produce well every year and only take 2-3 years to produce.
My favorite Asian pears are 20th century and the early yellow sweet one. I grow a few Euro pears, but I haven’t really settled on one yet.
Ii have 20 th century A pear. Where I am, it is way behind Korean Giant in all categories. It also went biennial on me twice !!!
Korean Giant is a great keeper. It doesn’t have as interesting taste up here in my opinion when I grow it, but I had some in storage til April or May. I think it’s worth growing. 20th century is sweeter, more tart, and stronger, yet more subtle in flavor.
That goes to show how different climate and soil could do to fruit trees.
My 20th C is borderline on a"should I remove it?" category. It is juicy, mildly sweet, nothing complicated to me. Several friends whom I gave both 20 th and KG to, had high praises for KG.
I agree. The old timers had a list of all the heirlooms that grew in their climate. They knew which ones got disease, which tasted good, which stored well, and which were hard to grow in each climate. One thing I love about “Growing Fruit” is the wealth of knowledge and perspectives of kick ass fruit growers in different regions.
Has anyone besides me had stony pit virus?
Yes I got some at least I’m pretty sure that us what it was. It would effect a certain percent of my pears in Austin. Nothing can be done about it I was told. I would thin out the affected fruit as soon as I saw it and I would still get decent harvests.
Thank you. I took some of my deformed pears not knowing what it was to my county extension office and they sent photos to their diagnostics center and they sent me this back via email:
The following report is regarding the pears you brought in:
If the fruit is hard (hard to cut with a knife), The it could be stony pit virus. If it is soft and spongy, then it could be stink bug injury early in the season. If insect infests, then treat with malathion early until the fruit develops to half size. If the virus is present, then the disease is systemic and cannot be controlled. Symptoms of the virus vary from year to year and from variety to variety. There are mild strains of this disease and severe strains. Next year may not be as bad as this year.