If you could only plant 15 types of pears in an orchard

Frequently people ask me which 10-15 pears i would plant in an orchard. The list is ever evolving. At the moment experience has taught me i would grow Warren, Magness, Harrow Delight, Harrow sweet, Drippin Honey, Korean Giant, Ayers, Douglas, Potomac, Small yellow unknown pear, Duchess D’ Angloume, Clapps Favorite, Karls Favorite, Chojuro, Clara Frijs. There are many such as Maxine , seckel, dana hovey etc. that just barely missed the list but are very good pears. The list may change again for me very soon but i’m very happy with all of these pears. Pears such as improved kieffer will always keep us from starving but the taste lacks the characteristics we fall in love with in a pear. In a survival situation i would throw out clara frijs and choose improved kieffer because it is a staple of heavy production year after year! What pears would you choose? I expect to hear replies of honeysweet, harvest queen, citron de carmes, bosc, fondante de moullins lille, concorde , comice, conference , bartlett , anjou to name a few (depending on region). How much will our taste in pears evolve in 10 years?

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Are you listing the favorites in that order or randomly?

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The favorites are random and not in any special order.

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Now that’s a thread title you will only find in GF! “Only 15 pear trees”… what deprivation…

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@glib there is definately some truth to that statement 15 seems like a big number. Shouldn’t we all grow at least 15 types of pears? At some point our relatives accepted less variety for convenience but should we?

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I am such a utilitarian guy. any tree, I go for 3 max, early, mid and late season. Apples, we can add storage apples (goldrush and AB). I am naturally attracted to no-spray fruits. In the garden I rely more and more on self-seeding veggies. I am definitely in the laziest 10% in this forum.

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I finally understood why you liked Drippin Honey so much this year Clark! The pears were really special, more lemony, very tasty, and different than other Asian pears. The previous years they were not as good but I guess the tree had to grow up.

I pretty much agree with your Asian pears but would add Kosui.

The only Euros I would add are Docteur Desportes and Fondante des Moulins-Lille. I have not fruited most that you mention though. My pears have done the worst of all my fruits, not enough light where I put them.

My long term goal these days is something like five European pears, that way I will be able to focus on them to ripen them well.

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@scottfsmith glad to hear that you like Drippin’ Honey. It’s true Drippin’ Honey like so many pears are not at their best the first couple of years. Doctor desportes has not fruited for me yet and i might change my mind once it does! Would love a pear that taste like bosc as you mentioned but is easier to grow like Doctor desportes. I added a few kosui this year but have not tried them yet. I was not at all surprised Fondante des Moulins-Lille was on your list. Fondante des Moulins-Lille does not seem to like our weather as well as some pears but you never know it may pull out of it eventually.

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I appreciate you all’s experience. I’ve photographed 40 pears to put up for sale soon on eBay, just today.

Scott’s pear list ‘for keeping and spreads harvest’ are:
Aurora
Docteur Desportes
Magness
Fondante de Moulins LIlle
Seckel

While @clarkinks list of well proven pears for a ‘no spray, low spray’ / Pest Resistant orchard include:
Harrow Sweet
Comtesse Clara Frijs
Harrow Delight
Warren
Potomac
Hosui
Charles Harris
Mishirazu
Drippin’ Honey

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I don’t have enough favorite to make 15 this year.
My list is based on pears I have eaten, some from my orchard, others from stores.
Here’s my Euro that I tasted:
Abbe Fetel
Comice
Fondante des Moulins-Lille
Harrow Sweet
Magness
Potomac
And Euro I want based on @scottfsmith’s review:
Aurora
Docteur Desportes

I have eaten only 6 varieties of my own Asian pears.
I like Korean Giant and Shinseiki.

My Hosui and Kosui are in partial shade. So far, they have not stood out (after 3 years of fruiting).

The two years of Drippin’s Honey (2917, 2018) have not yet impressed me. Hopefully, it will be better next year.

I grafted about 20 varieties of Euro and 10 of Asian for the last 3 years. My list may change in the next few years.

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What’s the deal with Blakes Pride? It came out about same time as Potomac but seems it doesn’t get much love.

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No love for BP from me. Only mildly sweet and has some grit. If you try Harrow Sweet, you will like it a lot more than BP.

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My Comice and Bosc are better than any Asian I’ve grown. The best Asian being KG.

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I like the small guys: Dana’s Hovey, White Doyenne, Seckel, Golden Spice. But any of them will depend on the season and so on.

Picked some nice Dana’s Hovey today and put them in the fridge for a week or two. Seckel last week, and the others yet to come. We’ll see how this year has been.

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I do not compare Asian pears with European pears. To me, they are two different animals.

Generally speaking, A. pears are crunchy, juicy and sweet (various levels of sweetness). Flavor and texture is not complex. The word “refreshing” comes to mind when eating A. pears.

E. Pears are soft and sweet. Some are gritty. Popular ones are smooth, melting and aromatic. Flavor is more complex.

I like them both. I know many who like one but not the other.

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@Barkslip
Keep in mind Mishirazu is one @tonyOmahaz5 grows. The ones i listed of my favorites are all ones i grow and eat or in the case of chojuro ive eaten from a tree close to here and grow my own but its not producing yet. I say that but we were debating if one i grow might be chojuro that @39thparallel and I ate it this weekend.

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I’ll keep that in mind, Clark. For the meantime I’m keeping Mishiarazu on my list because Tony hasn’t had any strikes if I’m remembering right @tonyOmahaz5 on any of his pear cultivars. Mishirazu is one that didn’t make it thru the -33 F my area saw during winter 2019’s polar vortex. Unfortunately I’ve now written several times on the forum that same list so if Mishirazu does become fireblight succeptible/scab or other, I’ll have to go then re-write those lists. But, that’s okay.

@fruitnut you ever get strikes on your Bosc or Comice? Those are two of my favorite grocery store pears and especially Comice. I’ve never had a better grocery store pear than Comice I sometimes buy cases of that were grown in Oregon.

I have years to wait until pears are producing for me.

Dax

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Oops I forgot to mention Aurora above. It didn’t give me any fruits this year, that is why I forgot it. Magness has always not fruited enough which is why I also did not mention it. Aurora may be somewhat shy in terms of the load but it is not in the stinginess league of Magness. Both had some pears but the deer got them. I am in the process of raising that stand (on quince) above deer range… when I winter pruned away the low stuff near the deer I neglected to keep in mind how much limbs bend down when loaded…

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Yes this yr for the first time ever. It took about half my Bosc wood but no strikes I could see on Comice.

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I like these european pears selected by ripening time:
Summer - Williams, Clap
Autumn - Bosc, Conference, Abate Fetel
Winter - Erika, Jana (czech selection). Very sweet, juice and with nice aroma.

Asian pears I tasted only Kumoi, crispy, sweet and with rum aroma. One tree of asian pear in garden is enough for me.

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