The number one thing I’ve learned while growing some ~20 figs and 10+ other fruits, is that the best fruits are the ones that ripen. I don’t care if SuperSweetMegaJuice is the best tasting fruit on the planet if I have to spray, prune, and manage the crap out of it in order to get fruit.
Assuming this is fireblight, I think I’m going to give up on pears unless there are some varieties out there that truly don’t need managing. Maybe I’ll plant a few nice native persimmons?
Anyways, what’s out there that I should consider? Even my Moonglow pear is having trouble with some kind of fungal issue and I’m kind of just over it
It’s a Bartlett that I was going to graft to. I also have a Comice and a Moonglow. Surprisingly it’s the Comice that is looking healthiest right now.
I think this Bartlett is definitely going to go in favor of something that doesn’t require any management, especially given that it’s way less tasty than a lot of varieties out there. I’m eyeing the Moonglow heavily given its current fungal issues (dropped all its flowers from it) and the Comice is on the chopping block if it starts to look at me funny in a fireblight kind of way
The thing is I’m already managing my fair share of fruit. We’re in heavy pear + apple country out here so I’m sure I’ll keep getting hit, which has me on the hunt for some varieties I can be spray-free with.
My revelations about the best fruit being the ones that ripen (and with the least work) came to me before I knew how likely it would be that I’d need to spray and manage these chosen pear varieties.
There is quite a bit of fireblight pressure here with host plants up and down the neighborhood streets in 4 directions. So I do spray the Hood Pear, but just once a year. A couple of years I’ve seen a few hints of fireblight on it but no dead leaves or shoots.
Also, this plant has been otherwise pest free. I’ve heard other good reports about Seckle and Warren in CA so I’m trialing them now.
I’m about to pull the trigger on a Warren and Harrow Delight. From looking around they seem to be my best bet for fireblight resistance (among other things). I’m surprised to see Comice is actually listed as quite resistant as well, so happily keeping that one.
I think I’m also going to have a word with my local nursery about their variety choices… . Looking at you Bartlett Pear and peach-leaf curled Indian Blood Peach (post-buyer’s remorse after learning of Indian Free). Can you tell I’m salty about diseases this season?
There you go. I highly recommend you consult with Clark and a few others about rootstock. Callery is a known fireblight magnet. I’ve no idea which of the OX- series etc. is appropriate for your location.
I’m with you, I don’t spray, I rather buy the fruit from the store. So this year I’m trying Hood pear, if I end up with FB, it has to go, that’s the only European pear I have. However I have Yali, Chojuro, Hosui, Daisui, and 20th century for Asian pear. Pears seem to be a pain to grow here, they both start with P, lol. I might grow more plums instead, carefree so far.
Comice is not resistant to fireblight. Please take a picture of the leaves on the tree. We will gladly let you know if it is comice. Some callery were very susceptible to fireblight, but they usually didn’t die acting as disease source for other pears. Some callery are highly resistant to fireblight. Wild callery have natural selection on their side. Graft over the susceptible varities to a non susceptible type of pear like warren or hood. Make sure any leaves on the rootstock are pruned off.
It is best to have both rootstock and scion resistant to fireblight. I use both combinations. If im growing comice and know i shouldnt then the rootstock will be a resistant pear. That way i never lose the roots just regraft on the top of the tree. The other way around if someone gave me bartletts for rootstocks free i would plant them but graft a resistant pear on the top. The majority of my orchard are resistant pears on the bottom and top.
Are they not resistant or just not immune? I’m only going off what many nurseries are saying, including raintree. That sucks if all these nurseries are claiming that it is FB resistant but that’s not in fact true.
That does look like comice. Concord pear also looks like that which is a child of comice. It is very healthy looking! I have lost 3 of 5 branches of comice to fireblight. What i do is grow a highly resistant tree like kieffer and graft comice limbs on the tree. If the branch gets fireblight no problem it dies only to the kieffer. In that way you can have your cake and eat it to.
Fireblight only impacts growing tissue not anything else. The faster it grows the more likely the chances it gets fireblight. Because of this many trees do not get infected until they bloom. Think about spreading agents like birds and insects that do not feed on the trunk but do land on or feed on small branches, leaves and blooms. Never once have i seen a trunk infected that did not come from the top of the tree down. It hits the top where the new growth is first then kills the branch then moves into the trunk.
if often seen FB susceptibility been used as an argument against quince rootstocks in the US.
Is that purely for the FB risk if the rootstock suckers? Seems like a strange reason to discount it as a rootstock if the small trunk from the rootstock isn’t in any way susceptible to FB. (i know there are other reasons to discount Quince in certain area’s. But the FB one is often mentioned in extension sources)
now i think about it. Maybe it’s not so much a problem for pear tree’s and FB. But more a problem for producing the rootstock.