Is it worth it to grow the Warren pear

Interesting! Is there a list somewhere of Euro pears with some Asian in them?

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Any Hybrid (European x Asian) Cultivar are part asian. Here is a list

Ohxf rootstock are really ohxb (old home x bartlett). Now look at the harrow pears again they are like a rootstock in compatability but taste good.

Harrow sweet, harrow delight are actually 1 tree away from being a really great rootstock. That means they graft to anything. Keep in mind some harrow trees are protected by patents and trademarks. Harrow delight as an example is available from the USDA ars grin program and many nurseries now.

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Thank you! Hoping some of the straight Euro pears also show long-term compatibility with Callery.

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No problems some european pears have been on those callery 20+ years. The nurseries sold them that way.

So what’s the difference between Warren and Magness?

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They are nearly identical but there are differences as seen here Magness and Warren sibling pears

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My Magness bears 5 x the fruit of my Warren. A Warren pear here is rare BUT I have Potomac grafted on the Warren tree and the Potomac has become a shy bearer too so maybe it’s tree fertility, not the varieties.

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Potomac and Warren produce good here for what they are. Potomac produces 5x the pears at least that warren does no doubt. Warren is still worth growing. If warren is flowering heavy but not setting fruit the pollinator is not a good match. Karls favorite is a great pollinator for Warren.

I have heard magness is pollen sterile. I am unsure if Warren is.

@elivings1 @cottonwood

That is correct about Magness. Warren can act as a pollinator.


Have been busy adding another row of warren recently. Hopefully i will add over a dozen more trees on Pyrus betulifolia.


Warren pears continue to gain popularity Warren Pears Information, Recipes and Facts just like their parent comice. We are witnessing the rise of the next speciality pear. I’m not sure if it will ever be called the royal rivierra but i am sure it tastes better than comice some years to me!

Froghollow have begun the speciality packaging of warren already Organic Warren Pears – Frog Hollow Farm

Magness and warren are said to be a cross of Doyenne du Comice Pears x some type of seckle

My scions came from the usda and have been verified to be warren. My magness is magness no doubt again from the usda. They are both wonderful trees but can be stubornly hard to grow. Warren does much better in the presence of Karls favorite. Highly recommend growing them on the same tree. @TheFluffyBunny i believe was the one who tipped me off before i ever started growing it to make the tree half and half. Currently im growing dozens of warren trees by themselves which may be a mistake. I’m still using top worked trees changed over to warren to reduce the wait time. If a tree is prone to fireblight i change it to something like warren that is not. I’m increasing my warren pear tree numbers every year.

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Where did the information that Warren can act as a pollinator come from? That’s news to me. I’ve grown Warren for 40+years. My original scions came from T. O. Warren who was my mentor when I lived in MS. We always thought it to be pollen sterile like Magness.


Warren has always been able to pollinate others and magness has always been unable to do that. Any nursery will confirm it eg. Warren Pear – Trees of Antiquity

" The Warren pear tree was named for Thomas O. Warren, a founding father of the North American Fruit Explorers (NAFEX), who discovered this gem in Mississippi, in 1976. The Warren pear is medium to large, long-necked, drop-shaped fruit is faded green with an occasional red blush in full sun. That said, the Warren pears can vary in size and shape. The pears are rated equal to Magness by many. The Warren pears are sweet, spicy and very juicy, buttery, silky flesh with no grit. Pyramidal tree shape. Fire blight resistant. One of the best for providing a source of pollen to other European pear trees. Please refer below for more information on the Warren pear trees for sale.

Considerations for Warren Pear Tree

USDA Zones: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Uses: Fresh Eating

Harvest Period: Very Late

Low Chill: Yes

Bloom Period: Midseason

Pollination Requirement: Self-Fertile

Origin Date: Mississippi 1976

Storage: 3 Months or More

Disease Resistance: Excellent

Rootstock: OHxF 333

Recommended Spacing: 12-16 ft.

Mature Size: 12-16 ft.

Water Requirements: 12-15 gallons per week May through Sept."

It does best with Karls Favorite or another warren close by in my experience. There will be about 30-50% of flowers that wont develop fruit in my experience.

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Agree. All I have read is that Warren’s and Magness’ pollen is sterile.

I look forward to seeing a proof from trustworthy sources that said otherwise.

@Fusion_power is working on pollination requirements chart currently. Many charts and universities will confirm warren is self fertile and has fertile pollen. Magness does not. Here is a chart something like im envisioning we will use long term from burntridge.

@mamuang @mayhaw9999 notice the chart they mark warren as pollen sterile. I dont believe thats completely true. It might be more difficult to understand, but it is not sterile. It is self pollinating.


The older pears like warren and potomac get the better they taste.

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Was talking to @Fusion_power about giant seckle and comice being used to develop warren and magness. Giant seckle is one of the many seckle seedlings. Here is a thread on the giant seckle Giant seckle

The magnificent Warren pear


NOV. 25, 2011 12 AM PT


With the partial exception of Bartletts, great locally grown pears are scarce at farmers markets in Southern California, where warm winters and disease render cultivation problematic. This makes it all the more special that Al Courchesne of Frog Hollow Farm, a rock star organic fruit grower from Brentwood, Calif., an hour east of San Francisco, will make a cameo appearance the next two Wednesdays at the Santa Monica farmers market to sell his legendary Warren pears.

Arguably the most delicious pear variety in the world, praised by the likes of Alice Waters, Martha Stewart Living and Oprah Winfrey, the Warren combines the best features of its ancestors, with the intensely sweet, rich, spicy flavor of Seckel, and the larger size and voluptuous juiciness of Comice. And the mystery of its origins, heretofore never fully unraveled, is almost as delicious as its flavor.

The trail that leads to the Warren starts with fire blight, a bacterial disease that makes growing most pears virtually impossible in areas where warm spring rains are common; a winter chill is also required, which is why very few European pears are cultivated in the southern half of California.

Historically, one of the few pears of quality that was resistant to blight was the Seckel, tiny but superbly flavored, and discovered near Philadelphia around 1760. Were it not for its diminutive size, it would doubtless be the preeminent pear on the market today.

Starting before 1900, pear breeders sought to hybridize the disease resistance of the Seckel into larger-fruited varieties. In 1920, Merton B. Waite, a U.S. Department of Agriculture breeder in Maryland, came up with a seedling of the Seckel called the Giant Seckel that bore much larger fruit, and was still blight-resistant. But it was not quite as flavorful, and it never became widely grown.

Breeders working for the USDA in the mid-20th century crossed the Giant Seckel and the Comice and in 1960 released Magness, which was blight-resistant and unequaled in flavor. It was fairly widely planted at first, but it soon proved to be an erratic producer and mostly disappeared from cultivation in subsequent decades.

A curiously similar variety named the Warren was discovered by a highly respected amateur fruit grower, Thomas O. Warren, in a most unlikely locale, Hattiesburg, Miss., about 1976. In the first published description of his namesake pear, a short article that appeared in Pomona magazine in 1986, Warren wrote that he found the original tree “growing in the backyard of a friend.” Its ancestry at first was unknown.

He shared bud wood with fellow enthusiasts in the North American Fruit Explorers organization. Another story, meanwhile, circulated that he had “found it planted in front of a post office and USDA soil conservation service office.” However, according to Ram Fishman, a nurseryman and fruit connoisseur who wrote an excellent online essay about Magness and Warren pears, when questioned further about the variety, Warren allowed that he discovered it among “the remains of a test site used by Mississippi State University.” Aha!

Some seedlings from the cross from which the Magness was selected were sent to a branch station in Meridian, Miss., that has long since closed, according to Kearneysville, W. Va.-based Richard Bell, the current pear breeder for the USDA. It is likely that this station sent some of the seedlings, or grafted trees, to Mississippi State for testing, and that the experimental orchard had been abandoned by the 1970s. The hot, humid conditions in the Deep South are murder on pear trees, most of which would have succumbed to fire blight, especially if unsprayed. A resistant tree would have been extremely conspicuous; if a pear tree could survive untended in Mississippi, it could make it anywhere.

Warren, who died last year at age 96, may have been concerned in the years just after his discovery that someone at the USDA would be miffed that he had filched their experimental variety, and so devised a story about finding it in a friend’s backyard. Today, no one would care about the pedigree of a relatively obscure pear, were it not that it is so supremely delicious and that it is one of the very few varieties that can be grown in blight-prone areas such as the Deep South and parts of California, particularly by home gardeners disinclined to spray.

As word of the prodigy spread, many observers noted that the Warren seemed very similar to the Magness; some maintained that they were identical. But there are slight differences: The Warren is more elongated, can have a richer ground color and red blush, and it is more resistant to fire blight. Also, according to Bell, unpublished analyses of enzymes of the two varieties by scientists at Oregon State University showed that they were very close but differed slightly, results consistent with the theory that they originated from different seeds of the same cross, of the Giant Seckel and the Comice.

Because pear trees take five years or more to come into bearing, growers historically have not been very adventurous in planting new varieties, and so the Warren, with its unofficial provenance, has never made a big splash commercially. Pollination is tricky. Frog Hollow Farm’s Courchesne — who has 9 acres of Warren and half an acre of Magness pears, planted from 1994 to 2003 — has to use a special blower to apply pollen to his flowers to get a decent crop.

But he loves the Warren. “It’s got smooth, grit-free texture and an intense, complex flavor, with hints of guava, pineapple and honey,” he says. After taking their own sweet time coming into bearing, his trees produced a bumper crop this year, and so he looked beyond his usual domains at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza and Berkeley farmers markets, to establish a beachhead in Southern California.

The manager of the Santa Monica markets, Laura Avery, invited Courchesne to sell on Nov. 30 and Dec. 7. He will have Warren, Magness and Golden Russet Bosc pears, for $3.90 a pound, along with high-quality dried Flavor King pluots and Fantasia nectarines, and excellent jams made by his wife, Becky. The Warrens are also available at Farmshop, at the Brentwood Country Mart in Santa Monica, and through December by mail order: six fruits, about 3 pounds, for $24, plus $12.50 shipping; or 12 fruits for $35, plus $17.50 shipping. They’re great in tarts and pies, and poached."


I tasted a good Comice, Warren and Magness all the same year when sampling pears. I have a standard size seckle but have never tried it. I would say their taste profile is off. They claim guava, pineapple and honey. Honey maybe but I would describe the ones from Frog Hallow and I forget the gift basket place that sells Comice but it is something like Harry and something as a brown sugar taste. Basically so intense that it tastes like brown sugar and makes your standard Bartlett and Anjou pear taste like trash in my opinion. I am hoping my Ayers and Seckle are the same way. I tried Comice from a local selling place and they did not taste nearly as good. They were selling the Comice pears in August and September though so I wonder how ripe they were. I think Raintree states their ripeness to be something like October so that is why I wonder if my local store’s Comice sucks. Either way I took out both of my Comice at this point. One was blatantly dead and one has severe die back end of last winter. I will need to figure out how frog hallow got their pears that sweet if you have any suggestions. I have Seckle, Ayers, Warren and Magness which have all been describes as sweet so it is just learning how to take their sweetness to the max.

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The secret of frog hollow farm is that they are in California, which has perfect pear growing weather. Oregon, where Harry & David is have excellent conditions as well. It is like some Colorado or Georgia peaches can not be beat.

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