Many pears are large and still extremely delicious but a few come to mind that stand out as being among the best of the best pears. Scott helped me to identify the DUCHESSE D’ANGOULEME pear I found growing on a farm in my area last year around this time. Here are a few pictures of the now hard to find pear
The pear is typically very delicious. The example in this photo weighed 1.5 pds and the owner of tree mentioned the pears frequently break branches and can weigh over 2 pounds each. I top grafted 3 full grown trees to this variety and expect fruit in the next year or two. The owner did not know what fireblight was and has never had it. The next large and reportedly disease resistant pear I know of but have not grown is turnbull giant. If you have scion wood please send me some in the spring. You can read the stories here http://www.freepatentsonline.com/PP04616.pdf , The Lewiston Daily Sun - Google News Archive Search, http://newsok.com/depew-couple-receives-patent-for-discovery-of-pear-tree/article/1965361, Schenectady Gazette - Google News Archive Search. In comparison with two pound pears my Drippen Honey pears seem pretty small which on some years are around a pound each
There is a pear which circulates in the CRFG scion exchanges as ‘Conseiller a la coeur’ or ‘Conseiller de la coeur.’ The old books do not consistently describe pears with that (or similar) names in the same terms as this pear appears. Whatever it is, it is a very large and beautiful (a picture is here) pear, although I don’t think it matches Duchesse d’Angouleme for eating quality.
I plan to grow magness since I have heard about its excellent disease resistance and wonderful flavor. Harvest queen and Harrow sweet seem like excellent varieties. If extra scion wood is available in the spring please let me know.
Clark, what has stymied me is uncertainty whether the available wood is for the pear that appears in the picture. ARS-GRIN has wood available for a pear with that name but I think it is a different pear. Last year, I could not find the person who had contributed the wood at the scion exchange I was at to confirm which it was. I’m going to try to do a better job of investigating this year and would be happy to send you some if I can find a confirmed source.
Clark, your DUCHESSE D’ANGOULEME is impressive. will it ripen on the tree? I got a good number of successful grafts off your Red Bartlett. I will send you a list of pears as well as apples in the nursery to see of there is anything you want to try. I have several types of asian pears that I know do well here as well as others that were selected purely on the bases of an exotic name.
That Conseiller pear is gorgeous-- love the color.
When I visited southcentral Chile, they had pears there that looked similar (perhaps Souvenir du Congres Pomologique?). Had that same beautiful yellow-red coloration. Whatever they were, they tasted fabulous.
Perhaps Scott knows that pear or may have a way to obtain additional information about it. Hopefully he will see this thread. He was able to identify the Duchesse D’Angouleme for me and also made mention of a russeted version. I found the russeted version for sale here http://www.raintreenursery.com/Duchesse_d_Angouleme_Pear_OHxF333.html and will buy it this spring .
In all honesty I’ve only been told to pick DUCHESSE D’ANGOULEME slightly green by the owner. I bring all my pears inside to ripen because otherwise they rot from the inside out on the tree with the exception of Bartlett and Asian pears. Clapps favorite, Kieffer etc. turn brown inside. Bartlett can ripen on the tree and taste very delicious when allowed to do so. Asian Pears I allow to ripen on the tree as well such as my Drippen Honey.
Years ago I ordered some pears recommended by Ed Fackler (midwestern grower) and one of the varieties was called Duchess and looks identical to yours. It is also a very high quality pear and the largest I grow so I expect it is the same pear- Stark Bros used to sell it (and maybe still does).
Similar in quality to both Sheldon and Harrow Sweet and ripens about the same time, but maybe not so productive here based on my tree and another I manage.
Clark, if you have not already, you might want to confirm with Raintree what it’s offering as D d’A. There is a sport of the original D d’A that goes by the name Duchesse d’Angouleme Bronzee which reportedly is “superior in dessert quality” to the original, but smaller, and that might have been what Scott was referring to. The Raintree web page looks like the original…
Thanks for letting me know. I have seen years where the pear was also blan. Its typically delicious but not the very best pear ive eaten. I will see what Scott says it sounds like. there may be three pears tbst go by the name duchess. Alan may know more as well.that 11+ inch monster pear described in the article i would bet on being the same pear. Photos do not do justice to the size this pesr can obtain. I will check with Rsintree. Thank you for the good advice.